June 2016

Grandfather jailed for sharing indecent images of children

A Brighouse grandfather has been jailed for eight months after he was caught sharing indecent images of youngsters with other “vile” paedophiles.

A judge told former yachtsman John Cranswick that he had no alternative but to jail him despite his age of 73.

Cranswick was arrested and questioned by police last October after information about computer downloads led them to his home in Church Street.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said various equipment was seized by officers and when it was later examined Cranswick was found to have downloaded more 500 indecent images of youngsters.

During the hearing at Bradford Crown Court Mr Wood described some of the indecent images found by police and the Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC later said that anyone who had heard the details would have been left feeling “cold and revolted”.

The police inquiry revealed that Cranswick, who lived alone, had also been using Skype to talk face-to-face with other paedophiles about their abuse of youngsters.

Mr Wood outlined details of some of the conversations and confirmed that Cranswick had also sent images to others.

During one of the Skype chats Cranswick claimed to have committed actual abuse offences, but he later told police those comments had just been fantasies.

Mr Wood said the police had made further enquiries and were satisfied that no physical offences had taken place.

Cranswick pleaded guilty to seven charges of possessing indecent images of children and one charge relating to the distribution of images.

Judge Thomas said Cranswick had been a family man, but over the course of a few years he had taken a liking to accessing indecent images of children through the internet.

“You have in fact taken quite a considerable step beyond just looking at those images and having them on your computer because you’ve also got into the habit of having conversations or chats with other people with the same vile mindset as you on the internet and you have exchanged with other people indecent images of children,” the judge told Cranswick.

Judge Thomas said Cranswick had taken part in the most terrible and disgusting conversations about the sexual abuse of children and he emphasised the fact that the images involved “real children to whom real things were happening”.

“It is only because there are people like you who will look at those images that these things happen and will continue to happen,” the judge told Cranswick.

“The message certainly has to go out that even in a car such as yours….prison sentences must follow when there is the possession of a considerable amount of material and importantly distribution of it in the way described in this case,” the judge told Cranswick.

In addition to the eight-month jail term Judge Thomas also told Cranswick that he would have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next five years and he would also be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his use of the internet in the future.