December 2018

Man, 72, behind bars after police uncover his shocking crimes

A pensioner used sophisticated encryption software to hide tens of thousands of unlawful images of children he collected on his computer over a 13-year period.

Christopher Hart, 72, has been jailed for three and a half years after he was caught with more than 85,000 images of children – some involving children as young as two.

And over 2,000 of the still and moving images of children were in the most serious category of A.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Hart suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and had accumulated the moving and still images over 13 years, which he catalogued with obsessive detail.

Hart, now of Robinson Place, Brant Broughton, pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children, making indecent images of children and possessing prohibited images.

Judge Andrew Easteal described the volume of material accumulated by Hart as extraordinary.

The judge also praised the “tireless” investigation which was carried out by police after they searched Hart’s former Cranwell home in December 2015.

Passing sentence, Judge Easteal made it clear those who view such images were not simply spectators and their activity encouraged the continuing abuse of children.

Judge Easteal told Hart: “The total volume comes to 85,710 moving or still images, all of them unlawful – many of them depicting very young children.”

Hart will also have to register as a sex offender for life and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.