January 2018

Paedophile jailed over ‘vile’ abuse pictures of babies

A paedophile who downloaded hundreds of the worst kind of indecent image – some featuring the ‘vile’ abuse of 12 month old babies – has been jailed for nine months.

Richard Broomhall spent almost three years building up the appalling collection of obscene material which involved both still and moving pictures, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

It included 228 images classified by experts as being category A – the most serious offending – and a further 240 categorised as either group B or C, said Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting.

All had been deleted after viewing but were recovered with specialist equipment when his laptop computer was seized during a police raid on the address in Jenner Close, Walsall, where he was living on June 30 last year.

Mr Searle continued: “When the images were analysed it was discovered they involved babies and children up to the age of ten. Search terms used by the defendant showed that he was positively looking for such images.”

The 48-year-old defendant, now living at Lodgefield Park, Baswich Lane, Stafford, gave a ‘no comment’ interview both on his arrest and on September 28 when seen again by officers after the images had been studied.

Miss Nicole Steers, defending, argued that it would be better for Broomhall to have his interest in this kind of pornography addressed and treated by experts. She said this would be more likely to rehabilitate him than a period of immediate custody.

Judge Barry Berlin retorted: “What worries me is that babies aged 12 months are being vilely abused by adults. It is difficult to imagine worse offending of this sort and if a judge does not take a stern view of it what is the point of the legislation?”

He told the defendant, who admitted three charges of making indecent images of children between September 2014 and June 2017 and had started therapy to control his behaviour:

“This was sickening and appalling abuse of babies as young as 12 months old for the sexual simulation of some and to line the dirty pockets of others. What sort of message would it send to those who behave like you if you did not go immediately into custody?”