Man jailed over child porn

SEX images of girls as young as four were found on the computer of a Mirfield man who started a 12-month jail sentence on Monday, following his arrest as part of a police operation which monitored internet chatrooms.

Officers involved in Operation Magenta seized computer equipment when they raided Paul Cooke's Foxroyd Avenue home almost a year ago.

The 38-year-old married man admitted offences of making, possessing and distributing indecent pseudo images of children when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court on Monday.

Judge Peter Benson described the images as "seriously disturbing and revolting" pictures.

The court was told that a specialist examination had revealed almost 2,000 sex images – some of which involved girls as young as four.

Richard Clews, prosecuting, said most of the images were on a CD rom and another contained 13 so-called 'movie clips', including one of a man raping a girl.

Cooke, a production manager with a previously impeccable character, admitted downloading images to see what they were like, and the court heard that he had used the chatroom name of 'Ilikeyounggirls'.

Mr Clews explained that Cooke had installed a programme which allowed other users to download sex images by accessing his computer.

Cooke told police that over a six-month period up to 40 people had received images passed on by him.

Judge Benson told Cooke that the evil of collecting and actively seeking out such material was that it provided a market and encouragement for those involved in the industry of child abuse.

"In addition to you collecting this sort of material it is also quite clear from your plea of guilty… that you admit distributing it," he added.

"You admit that 30 or 40 recipients would have benefited from your role in the dissemination of this revolting material."

Mark Barlow, in mitigation, said that apart from "morbid curiosity" Cooke was unable to put forward any explanation for his activities, but a doctor's report suggested that stress levels at work may have played a part.

Mr Barlow stressed that there was no commercial element in Cooke's offending and he said whatever the sentence passed his client was resigning from his job.

"This man has brought shame, pain and disgust to his family, to his friends and of course when this matter is reported by the press fully his life will be there for all to see," he said.

Mr Barlow argued that a viable non-custodial sentence could be passed which would force Cooke to address what he had done and understand that it was not a victimless offence.

But Judge Benson told Cooke: "These are revolting images, just short of 2,000 in total and it seems to me that a substantial proportion of them fall into the category… which is one category down from the most serious of all."

He said he shared the concern that Cooke had not addressed the causes behind his offending and that presented a risk to the public.

For that reason he extended the licence supervision period to three years which means Cooke will continue to be monitored in the community following his release in six months.

He will also have to register as a sex offender for the next seven years and has been disqualified indefinitely from working with children.