August 2016

Paedophile jailed for possessing ‘worst child abuse images police have seen’


A Peterlee paedophile has been jailed after police found a cache of child sexual abuse images including the worst footage officers had ever seen.

Jon Pinkerton was locked up for 32 months for possessing and making 5,538 indecent images of children.

The sickening discovery was made when computers were seized from the 50-year-old’s home in County Durham.

And jailing him at Durham Crown Court, Judge Christopher Prince said the footage he watched ahead of sentencing Pinkerton – eight minutes out of the 95 hours seized by police – was some of the worst ever seen.

“I have been dealing with indecent images of children for some 20 years,” he said. “There was a time when counsel were expected to look at the images, but now it is not possible to look at them all, there is just so many of them.”

The judge added: “Images such as these have been coming before the courts at what seems to me an increasing regulatory over the last 20 years

“It is a profoundly disturbing image. I have seen many images over the years, the police have seen many images over the years.

“The police have said this is one of the worst they have encountered and it is certainly the worst I have ever encountered.

“They demonstrate an exceptional degree of depravity, culpability and psychological harm. They are extremely depraved images.”

Prosecutors said that police found another 12,000 images in Pinkerton’s possession which they were not able to categorise due to the length of time it would take.

An additional 60,000 images were found on another computer, though Pinkerton’s defence said not all of those were illegal or indecent.

Judge Prince said: “As long as there is a customer base for this material, it is going to be produced.

“We cannot imagine that that child would suffer anything other than considerable psychological damage for the rest of her life.”

Defending, Jane Waugh said that Pinkerton has a difficult childhood and was addicted to pornography.

“He is the first to say to the court that he know what he has done is abhorrent. It is abhorrent to him but he felt himself compelled at the time.”

She explained that Pinkerton’s family are supporting him and he is committed to working and breaking the cycle.

“He has taken the help offered by police, he feels he is now in a position to catch and stop himself,” she told the court.

Pinkerton, of Moray Close in Peterlee, pleaded guilty to two counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possessing indecent images of children and a fourth count of possessing extreme pornography.

Judge Prince went beyond the sentencing guidelines due to the depraved nature of the images and jailed him for 32 months.