A pervert is behind bars after he was found with a sickening catalogue of 105,000 horrific images showing children being tortured and sexually attacked – including an 18 month old baby.
Stephen Mark Lord, 51, has been jailed for 27 months after telling police who raided his home that he had viewed the images out of “morbid curiosity”.
But an in-depth probe revealed he had used specific search terms to find the images, which he downloaded on a file sharing website.
Officers and lawyers involved in the case, one of whom had to watch all the footage, said the cache of images were the worst they had ever seen.
Lord downloaded the images on various devices at his bungalow in Preston, Lancs., which was raided last September.
Judge Pamela Badley, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said: “You accessed those photographs because of your particular interest – whatever that interest was is something you and your conscience are going to have to explore.
“It was a curiosity which lasted 15 years. The material which was the subject of your interest was not only filthy material, but involves children being abused.
“Tortured is not too strong a word to describe what was happening to babies and young children forced to engage in sexual activity. Where these children are no one knows, but they are real children in real pain and real suffering.”
Walking with a crutch, Lord was made to take all his possessions out of his pockets in the dock before the proceedings started.
Prosecuting, Emma Keogh said: “During an initial interview he admitted he had accessed indecent images via a file sharing network. He was given bail so his equipment could be analysed. It took considerable time because the images and videos were across four devices.
“It was almost a year later, and whilst he accepted he had viewed the web sharing site he was shocked to find how many images there were – he said some of them must be duplicates. When some of them were put to him he told police he couldn’t remember viewing those particular images and videos.”
The court heard the reviewing lawyer had had to watch all the footage and had voiced how upset she was.
Similarly a police officer said they were the worst images she had come across.
Lord admitted making 21,255 category A images – the worst in legal terms – with a further 39,360 at category B and 44,580 at category C over a 15 year period between February 2000 and September 2015.
He also admitted possessing 860 extreme pornographic images involving people and animals, possessing 202 prohibited images of a child and possession of 105,195 indecent images of children.
Defending him, Beverley Hackett said: “He says he understands the seriousness of his position. He is a solitary, lonely figure broken by the proceedings but recognising he has put himself in this position.”