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Man with 100,000 images of children was 'obsessed and addicted'

PUBLISHED: 06:30 27 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 07 July 2010

David Bale

A paedophile who collected more than 100,000 indecent images of children - some containing shocking scenes of abuse - has been jailed for three years.

A paedophile who collected more than 100,000 indecent images of children - some containing shocking scenes of abuse - has been jailed for three years.

When police visited the house John Fox, 46, shared with his elderly mother, on September 8 last year, they found a stockpile of tapes, DVDs, magazines and disks containing indecent images of children from the floor to the ceiling of his bedroom.

Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday that Fox, who is single, was “obsessed and addicted” to images of children, especially of girls aged from 9 to 11.

Fox, from Hillside, East Barsham, near Fakenham, was placed on the Sex Offenders' register for life, banned from working with children for life and must carry out a sexual offences prevention order while in custody.

Fox had previously pleaded guilty to possessing 108,411 indecent images of children, with nearly 900 at the most serious level of depravity, and yesterday also admitted six charges of making indecent photographs of children.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said Fox was caught after Cheshire police told their colleagues in Norfolk that he had bought three DVDs containing images of children from a suspected paedophile on eBay.

Mr Spence said: “There were a huge number of magazines, disks, video tapes, DVDs and computer floppy disks, containing indecent images of children, piled from the floor to the ceiling.”

In interview, Fox said he was aware that what he was doing was wrong and said he wished he had been caught sooner, Mr Spence added.

“Some of the magazines containing child pornography cost £200 each. Fox described it as an obsession and addiction to child pornography.

“He said he had a Jekyll and Hyde personality in that he would throw himself in front of a car to protect a child, but still downloaded these images, knowing that each child abused was a victim. He stockpiled an enormous collection of child pornography.”

In mitigation, Katherine Moore said there was no suggestion Fox had ever acted out any of his fantasies.

She said: “He suffered the tragic death of his partner and unborn child and never recovered from a breakdown. He's only been to the cinema once and has never been to London.”

Judge Anthony Bate told Fox: “The sentence may seem harsh but it's in the public interest and you need to get help.

“You have acknowledged that you have a sexual preference for young children, especially girls aged 9-11. You deserve to be punished but you also need help to tackle this problem.”

The judge also commended Insp Mike Brown, who carried out a warrant at Fox's home.

Insp Brown said: “This was a case that was significant both in terms of pure volume and complexity. It certainly well demonstrates the quality of the investigative skills and determination within the safer neighbourhood team.

“However, what needs to be remembered is that this was not just a matter of possessing pictures or images but rather that each picture is of a child victim of crime.”

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