November 2017

Ex- soldier caught with thousands of indecent images

A former soldier caught with thousands of indecent images of children avoided prison after a judge heard how his life in war zones had left him mentally scarred.

Michael Jarvis came up with a number of excuses after the vile pictures and videos were found on electronic equipment during a raid on his North Yorkshire home last year.

He initially told police he knew nothing about it and said a computer virus must have been to be to blame for downloading the abuse images onto his lap-top.

Later, he confessed to searching the internet for child sex, but claimed he was on a research mission to tell the authorities what he found.

But in an interview with detectives following the March 11 raid, the 54-year-old confessed he had never once passed on his findings to the police or anyone else.

In the face of compelling evidence from computer analysis, Jarvis finally admitted he was responsible for deliberately looking for the images.

Teesside Crown Court heard that there were more than 850,000 pictures and movies on 20 pieces of electronic equipment seized from Jarvis’s home in East Cowton, near Northallerton.

Police examined just a proportion of what they found through forensic examination, and catalogued a total of 7,755 images – with more than 1,500 in the worst category.

Prosecutor Shaun Dryden said the “active, deliberate and systematic” searches online resulted in Jarvis downloading pictures of babies being raped and tortured.

“When the forensic findings were put to him, he said he did access pornography, but in his words ‘it was normal pornography with adults, over 18’,” Mr Dryden added.

“He said he was not aware of any child images on his devices and had never searched for it, but admitted looking at beastiality and thought that was not illegal.”

Mr Dryden told Judge Peter Armstrong. “He said he had searched for nude pictures and had typed in ‘teen sex’ and ‘gay sex’, and when he was challenged he changed tack.

“He said he looked to find images so he could report them to the authorities, but when he was asked if he had done so, he confirmed that he had not.”

Judge Armstrong gave him a ten-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, and ordered him to go to sessions to tackle his “distorted thinking”.

Jarvis will also be on the sex offenders’ register for the next ten years, and the judge put restrictions on his use of computers and the internet.