Monday 14 October 2019

Pensioner had two million child abuse images

The property of Geoffrey Crossland with the bunker complex beneath the outbuilding to the left. Photo: North Yorkshire Police/PA Wire
The property of Geoffrey Crossland with the bunker complex beneath the outbuilding to the left. Photo: North Yorkshire Police/PA Wire

Henry Clare

A 70-year-old man who amassed one of the largest known hauls of indecent images in England and Wales has been jailed for more than 12 years.

Officers found a vast collection of more than 2.2 million indecent images on SD cards, laptops and tablets - as well as a "secret underground bunker" containing weapons and ammunition - when they searched the home of Geoffrey Crossland in North Yorkshire.

Crossland, of Padside Green Farm in Harrogate, was sentenced to 12 years and eight months at York Crown Court yesterday as judge Andrew Stubbs QC said the "scale of the depravity" the images depicted was hard for the public to understand.

"Your criminality was unearthed, almost literally, on October 18 last year, when officers searched your house for images of children," the judge said.

"One issue which is not forgotten is that these images capture real life people, and at the same time real life sexual abuse being carried out on them."

A court heard how the pensioner had "painstakingly categorised" the images and had written himself lists of the best websites from which to access sexual pictures and videos of children.

Prosecutors told how Crossland had demonstrated a "long-standing interest in children", with the earliest images dating back to 1998.

The material was discovered when officers scoured his home on October 18 last year, at which point they discovered what has been described as a "secret underground bunker" containing weapons and ammunition.

Included in the facility was a shooting range and an area designed for the manufacture of ammunition.

The judge heard how the former business manager, who ran a company that manufactured electronic components for vehicles, had an "arsenal of weapons" in the bunker.

Irish Independent

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