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February 07, 2005

Jailed for huge child porn hoard

February 7, 2005

A paedophile who hoarded Britain's biggest collection of child abuse images has been jailed for two-and-a-half years

Father-of-five John Harrison had more than a million images of children being abused.

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit say it is the biggest personal collection of child porn ever seized in Britain.

They included sickening photos of babies being sexually tortured and raped by adults.

But Harrison, 53, escaped a much heavier sentence because he was charged under an old law so the maximum sentence he could receive was just three years.

Passing sentence at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, Judge John Burke QC told Harrison he would have liked to have given him 10 years - the maximum sentence under the new law.

Harrison, from Manchester, has had his full address protected by the court for fear of reprisal by vigilantes.

He was put on the sex offenders' register for life, disqualified from working with children for life and banned from using the internet for life.

Unemployed Harrison, who repaired computers as a hobby, was arrested in October 2003 as part of Operation Twins, a global investigation of an organised paedophile group - The Shadowz Brotherhood.

Harrison pleaded guilty to 32 specimen counts of making an indecent image and to conspiracy to distribute indecent images through his role as an administrator of the bulletin board. The offences were committed between 1998 and 2003. But because his earliest offence pre-dated new sex abuse laws aimed to protect children, he was prosecuted under the old Protection of Children Act 1978, where the maximum sentence is three years. The new Sexual Offences Act 2000 carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Posted by Nancy at February 7, 2005 12:02 AM