February 2019

Preston paedophile pilot, 71, admits possessing indecent images of children


A convicted paedophile who cheated death when his glider crashed into a 3,000ft mountain has been caught with perverted images of children for a second time.

Wheelchair bound Croft Brown, of Lindale Avenue, Grimsargh, near Preston, was given a 12 month jail term, suspended for two years, by Judge Beverley Lunt during a hearing before Preston Crown Court.

Brown, 71, had a stash of thousands of images and admitted three counts of making indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornographic images, and breaching a previous Sexual Offence Prevention order (SOPO).

The dad-of-two was must take part in a rehabilitation activity and an accredited sex offender treatment programme, and must sign the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.

He was also given a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) Brown hit the headlines in 2010 when his aircraft careered into Gael Charn, near Kincraig, in the Scottish Cairngorms during a solo flight.

The retired electrical engineer was left with two broken ankles and two fractured vertebrae in his spine, spent two months in hospital, and now uses a wheelchair.

Brown was rescued by the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team who found him 2,000ft up the mountain and cut him free, before he was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Just two years after the crash he pleaded guilty to 30 criminal offences related to possessing hundreds of indecent photos and a number of videos of youngsters, and was jailed for two years.

On that occasion he also admitted distributing illegal videos and images on a file sharing network from his home.

There were more than 200 videos and more than 5,000 images, ranging from level one to level five – the most serious category.

February 2012

Pilot jailed over indecent child pictures

A pervert who had thousands of sickening images of children stored on his computer has been jailed for two years.

Shamed pilot Croft Brown, 64, also distributed illegal videos and images on a file sharing network from his home in Lindale Avenue, Grimsargh.

However on April 28 last year, police raided the home and seized a laptop and separate hard drive belonging to the retired electrical engineer.

There were more than 200 videos and more than 5,000 images, ranging from level one to level five – the most serious category.

In many cases the file names given to the images gave graphic descriptions of their contents, Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court.

Married father-of-two Brown, who was injured when he crashed his plane in Scotland last year, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of making indecent images, four counts of distributing, 10 counts of possessing indecent images, two counts of making indecent video images of a child and two counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Beverly Hackett, defending, said: “He is extremely ashamed and so he should be.

“He accepts and has accepted over the last 12 months that without his participation in these sort of offences then children would not be harmed in the first place.”

Judge Simon Newell, sentencing, said: “It is said in your pre-sentence report that because these were images that in some way you distanced yourself from them.

“People should know and you must know that they can not use that as an excuse.

“Somewhere in this country or in foreign countries there are very small and vulnerable children who are being abused by adults – made to do awful, appalling sexual things, being treated as animals or commodities and being filmed for the benefit of people like you.

“That is the reality of these matters. Much as you might have sympathy for a man such as yourself – a decent, honest, mature man who has fallen by the wayside – there is a duty by these courts to pass sentences that fall on public disquiet and protect the children of this country and beyond.”