October 2007

Man jailed for child sexual abuse images on computer

A Sheffield businessman was jailed this week after police found more than 2,000 images of child pornography on his computer.

Christopher Hart, aged 62, admitted 24 counts of downloading indecent photographs and films involving children, some featuring girls as young as eight.

Some of the pictures were ranked at the highest end of a scale used to measure the seriousness of such material.

Judge Alan Goldsack QC said that although Hart had not abused a child, he had still contributed to abuse being carried out.

He told Sheffield Crown Court: “Many who derive pleasure from looking at such material would never themselves directly sexual abuse children.

“They seem to be able to ignore that what they are watching is someone else abusing a child, often in a faraway country.

“Part of the reason for that abuse taking place is that there are people like you providing a market for it and prepared to pay for it. And so, indirectly, people who commit these offences are responsible for the actual abuse of the children.”

Hart, of Shore Lane, Ranmoor, was sentenced to nine months in prison for the offences, carried out between February 2005 and March 2006.

Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said intelligence from America had led to a computer and a laptop being seized from Hart’s home.

She said the internet history on the computer taken from his bedroom showed he had been searching for child porn and images had been downloaded from 2001 onwards. Images had been viewed just two days before the equipment was seized.

Hart was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.