March 2019

Pensioner had 2.2 MILLION indecent images of children and firearms

A pensioner who had 2.2 MILLION indecent images of children – thought to be the biggest known ‘collection’ in England and Wales – has been jailed for 12 years and eight months.

Geoffrey Crossland, 70, was told by judge Andrew Stubbs QC the ‘scale of the depravity’ the images depicted was hard for the public to understand.

‘One issue which is not forgotten is that these images capture real life people, and at the same time real life sexual abuse being carried out on them,’ the judge said.

A court heard how the pensioner had ‘painstakingly categorised’ the images and had written himself lists of the best websites from which to access sexual pictures and videos of children.

Prosecutors told how Crossland had demonstrated a ‘long-standing interest in children’, with the earliest images dating back to 1998.

He also admitted storing illegal guns in a secret underground bunker underneath his home at York Crown Court today.

Officers were raiding the pensioner’s home in Padside Green Farm, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on 18 October last year when they found the bunker, which was made from shipping containers.

Crossland’s wife had answered the door when officers arrived, while the defendant himself was on a shooting holiday in Argentina.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport and, when brought in for interview days later, repeatedly gave ‘no comment’ answers.

Appearing at York Crown Court on Monday, Crossland admitted 11 charges in relation to the possession of firearms and ammunition.

He had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images between January 2011 and October 2018.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said the vast haul of images included 34,612 in the most extreme category A, showing the actual rape and torture of children

The court heard Crossland had worked hard to categorise the material, with some of the images and videos being listed under headings such as ‘animal abuse’, ‘peach Asian street meat’ and ‘young Russian brother and sister’.

The former business manager, who ran a company that manufactured electronic components for vehicles, had an ‘arsenal of weapons’ in the bunker, as well as around 24,000 rounds of ammunition, the judge heard.

Susannah Proctor, defending, said Crossland had an enthusiasm for weapons dating back to him being given a firearms licence back in the 1970s.

She added there was no evidence Crossland had any intention to cause harm with the weapons and ammunition.

Crossland was also issued with a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

His wife was said to be “tearful and devastated” when she was told of her husband’s appalling secret.

She told her neighbour: “It’s horrible.”

The neighbour added: “She couldn’t believe it at first when the police told her what her husband had been doing.

“She hadn’t a clue. She has been in tears. They seemed such a lovely couple who were very friendly and happily married.”

January 2019

Pervert caught with 2.2 MILLION child sexual abuse images

Police who raided a North Yorkshire pensioner’s home found a stash of 2.2 MILLION child sexual abuse images.

Geoffrey Crossland, 70, downloaded the pictures on his computer at the £750,000 farmhouse where he lives with wife.

His wife was said to be “tearful and devastated” when she was told of her husband’s appalling secret.

She told her neighbour: “It’s horrible.”

The neighbour added: “She couldn’t believe it at first when the police told her what her husband had been doing.

“She hadn’t a clue. She has been in tears. They seemed such a lovely couple who were very friendly and happily married.”

Former company director Crossland was arrested at Heathrow airport as he returned from a clay pigeon shooting competition in America following a tip-off.

Officers then raided his home in Padside, North Yorks.

They also discovered an underground bunker containing at least nine prohibited firearms and ammunition plus an elaborate security system.

Another neighbour said: “He didn’t really mix with people but always seemed a good neighbour.

“We were completely stunned when we discovered what he’d been arrested for. It is horrific and really scary.”

Crossland admitted making indecent photographs of a child.

He will be sentenced at York crown court today.