Paedophile caged over horrific haul of child abuse images
A paedophile caught with a vile collection of 12,587 images of child abuse was jailed for 15 months.
Daniel Gunson, 45, of Hollybank, Moore, was locked up on Friday at Chester Crown Court having previously pleaded not guilty to six offences of possessing and making indecent images, possessing prohibited images and having extreme pornography involving animals.
‘Deviant’ Gunson was caught after police seized digital devices including a laptop, an external hard drive and a Samsung phone.
Officers trawling the files uncovered a hoard of imagery of sexual abuse of children from babies to older teens.
Sarah Badrawy, prosecuting, said the pictures and videos covered the range of seriousness from the worst in Category A through to Category C.
Judge Patrick Thompson detailed the imagery further, stressing that the public ‘should know the sort of material people are viewing’.
He went onto describe examples of photographs and videos, including clips of infants in visible pain and distress undergoing sexual abuse in ordeals lasting nearly two hours.
Police confirmed more than 12,500 child abuse images from 30,000 images discovered, with a further 138,524 files that were not examined.
There were 2,951 items in Category A, 3,244 in Category B and 6,392 in Category C.
In addition, his search history was littered with terms and recurrent themes relating to still and moving images of offences against children.
Gunson was arrested in 2015 but claimed innocence via a prepared statement after a series of no comment interviews.
The matter was due to go to trial this September but the defendant change his plea in April.
The court heard that a previous partner of Gunson had broken up with him in 1996 after discovering him looking at indecent images, but he claimed he had no idea how they ended up on his computer.
Gunson, in a grey suit, purple shirt and thick black-rimmed glasses, stood blank-faced for the duration of the hearing.
Elderly family members covered their mouths as His Honour Patrick Thompson listed the offences and told Gunson the only place he could go was prison.
Judge Thompson imposed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order on Gunson and ordered that he be placed on the sex offenders’ register, also for 10 years.
Sentencing him, he said: “You entered a defence statement claiming you knew nothing of this material that it somehow appeared on your computer.
“You said you had obtained your computer from someone else and it was their responsibility.
“That wasn’t the case at all.
“You were the person who had downloaded it and you were the person with a deviant interest in material of this kind, material of children being raped, from babies to teenage children.
“You seem to have an interest in all of that.”
He added: “If it wasn’t for people like you with this deviant interest, these children would not be getting raped so I’m afraid you bear responsibility.”
Judge ‘utterly astonished’ that man with more than 12,500 indecent images of children is labelled ‘low risk’
A JUDGE said he was ‘utterly astonished’ that a 45-year-old man in possession of more than 12,500 indecent images of children was labelled a ‘low risk’ of reoffending and could be denied a place on a sex offender’s programme.
Daniel Gunson, of Hollybank in Moore, appeared at Chester Crown Court today, Friday, to be sentenced for having thousands of indecent pictures and videos.
Some included footage of babies while other disturbing images included children in ‘pain or distress’.
Sarah Badrawy, prosecuting, said: “On December 18, 2015, a search warrant was conducted at his former home in Runcorn. It was cluttered, dirty and full of different computer equipment.
“Officers found a laptop which was on the bed in the defendant’s bedroom and a hard drive discovered by the side of the bed. Images and movies of every category have been discovered, from babies through to late teenagers.”
Gunson was arrested and in three interviews when he was questioned by officers he answered ‘no comment’.
Ms Badrawy added: “A statement from his ex-wife said their relationship ended when she discovered he was viewing indecent images of children.”
Gunson changed his plea from not guilty to guilty before his trial was due to start.
But Judge Patrick Thompson was shocked that a probation officer believed Gunson was ‘low risk’.
He said: “I’m astonished that probation comes to that conclusion. It’s not a conclusion I come to. These formulas are a lot of nonsense in my opinion, it’s taking equations too far.
“When someone’s got more than 12,500 images on a computer, many of them category A, and who’s been searching the internet for them, how they can be assessed to be of low risk of further harm is beyond me.”
Sentencing Gunson to 15 months in jail, Judge Thompson said: “You chose to spin things out. You denied it, you entered a defence statement saying you knew nothing about the material, that it just appeared on your computer, that one of the computers was from someone else.
“But you were the person who downloaded it.
“You have a deviant interest in viewing material of this kind, of children being raped. You are somebody who is in denial.
“If it wasn’t for people like yourself who have this dreadful deviant interest these children would not be being abused. You bear some responsibility.”