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Man with indecent images of children tracked down by international police operation

From The Hereford Times - click here....!

A Herefordshire pensioner whose hoard of indecent images of children was tracked down in an international police investigation has been given a 12-month community order.

Philip Mitchell, aged 69, of Pencombe, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of possessing indecent material when he appeared for sentence at Worcester Crown Court.

Prosecutor Christopher Lester said Canadian police had started an investigation after checking the activities of a film firm based in Toronto.

They had passed on information they gleaned to other forces as part of Operation Spade.

One of the addresses led to Mitchell's home and officers found more than 4,000 images.

More than 3,500 were in category C, the least serious, but there were also 515 in category B and 281 in category A, the most serious.

Mitchell had led them to the computer and his store of disks.

He said that he should have destroyed them and had not tried to copy or distribute them.

James Turner, mitigating, said Mitchell had made an admission as soon as he was interviewed but had been waiting for nine months with the case hanging over him.

He had started by watching adult porn but admitted that he was attracted by young adults.

Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC commented that Mitchell was a man of good character from all the references he had received.

But his use of the internet had turned his whole life upside down.

Imposing the order, he said there should be specified activity supervised by the probation service.

He made a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period and ordered Mitchell to sign on the sex offender register for five years and pay £360 costs.

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