August 2023

Pervert tried to delete child-abuse images before police raided his Leeds home

A paedophile was caught after downloading more than 1,000 images of child abuse, but tried to cover his tracks before being raided by police.

Ian Shillito had tried to wipe the sick photos from his computer but in-depth investigations by specialist officers found evidence that he had moved them onto USB sticks.

Leeds Crown Court heard that West Yorkshire Police had been tipped off in July last year about an IP address matching Shillito’s was involved in downloading the illegal material.

On September 19 last year they visited the 53-year-old’s home on Parkfield Mount, Cross Flatts, where he lives alone, and seized his internet devices. As well as evidence of the transferred files, they found a Tor Browser, which allows him to remain anonymous.

They found that he had downloaded 121 images at Category A – the most serious – along with 146 at Category B and 791 at Category C. They also found one extreme pornographic image involving an animal.

He admitted three counts of possessing indecent images, and one charge of possessing an extreme image.

Little mitigation was offered by his barrister Stephen Welford, but he did say that Shillito’s pre-sentence report was “candid” and unlike many offenders caught downloading such images, admitted it was for sexual gratification.

Judge Robin Mairs told Shillito: “It appears you have descended into a spiral of illicit desires. You were frank with probation and express your guilt and shame.”

He was handed an eight-month sentence, suspended for 24 months, given 40 rehabilitation days, put on the sex offender register for 10 years and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) to limit his internet use.