September 2018

Paedophile had up to 2.9 million indecent images of children

AN IT technician has been spared jail despite being caught with up to 2.9 million indecent images of children.

Ricardo Gargiulo, from Orford, collected an ‘extensive’ number of indecent images of children aged as young as nine over a period of five years.

But he was spared an immediate jail sentence at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday, September 13, and instead ordered to complete unpaid work.

The court heard that the 50-year-old’s home on Watkin Street was raided by police on Friday, August 4 2017.

Gargiulo was present and arrested by officers, who seized a laptop and hard drives from the property.

Searches of this equipment revealed a total of 2.9 million images collected between 2012 and 2017

Officers were unable to analyse all the material found on the computer due to the number of images, and instead looked at a sample.

Contained in this sample were 86 category A images, 57 category B images and 1,897 category C images as well as 118 prohibited cartoon images depicting children – including a total of five videos.

Gargiulo, who had no previous convictions, had also bookmarked a Russian website ‘well-known’ for containing indecent images of children on his internet browser.

He admitted three counts of making indecent images, possession of indecent images and possession of prohibited images during an earlier court hearing.

But judge Gary Woodhall handed him a 10-month imprisonment suspended for two years.

Gargiulo was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, told to pay a victim surcharge and subjected to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

He was also told to carry out a two-year rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 35 days and subjected to a 10-year notification requirement.

Sentencing, judge Woodhall said. “You are an intelligent and articulate man who has lived an isolated life.

“Because there are a number of images that were not analysed, I have to approach that information with a degree of caution – one doesn’t know the scale of the indecent images within the body of that further data.

“You assert that the majority are not pornographic or are adult pornography, but I can’t be sure – even if only a small proportion were indecent, then that is still an extensive body of indecent images.

“It is clear to me that this was a large collection of indecent images.

“Over a number of years you collected a high volume images, even applying a degree of caution.

“You are assessed as posing a risk to children, and it’s set out in clear terms that you will continue to do so until you receive specific treatment.

“But it seems to me that there is a prospect of rehabilitation, and the risk you pose can be managed in the community – you are not a lost cause.”

Forfeiture and destruction of the seized items was also ordered