Leeds pensioner had more than 2,000 abusive images

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A GREAT grandfather was found to have downloaded more than 2,000 abusive images of children after police seized computers from his home in Leeds.

A court heard retired businessman Peter Cliff, 65, told officers he had been viewing the illegal pictures for years after he was arrested.

Leeds Crown Court heard Cliff came to the attention of police after a legitimate website was hacked and indecent images of children were uploaded to it in 2011.

Officers went to Cliff’s home on Leeds Road, Scholes, on May 25 last year and seized computer equipment.

After examination it was found to contain 2,574 illegal images and 39 movies. The court heard 79 images were at level four and nine were at level five - the two most serious categories of offending. It was also revealed that Cliff had made internet searches for ‘little girls’ and ‘nymphettes’.

Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, told the court some of the images involved babies being horrifically abused.

Cliff was interviewed and told officers he had been viewing the images for years at the home he shared with his wife.

He said he would sit in his bedroom viewing them as he drank wine.

Cliff also claimed he did not believe he was contributing to the abuse of children as he had not paid to view the material.

He pleaded guilty to 21 offences of making indecent photographs of children.

Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said: “This is a 65-year-old man without any previous convictions.

“He is totally and thoroughly disgusted and ashamed by his behaviour.

“He has not only brought shame upon himself and his good name but also his wife and all the members of his family.”

The lawyer added: “He has had an industrious business life. It is totally out of character.”

Cliff was made the subject of a three-year community and supervision order and told he must go on the sex offenders register for five years.

Judge Penelope Belcher told Cliff: “You said that because you had not paid for the images you were not in any way responsible for viewing these images.

“Do not kid yourself that you have not contributed to their abuse because you plainly have.”

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