Pervert had more than 70,000 child porn images

Christopher Carlton
Christopher Carlton

A PERVERT who began amassing a huge collection of disgusting child porn images while still a Wigan schoolboy has been jailed.

A court heard that some of the tens of thousands of appalling images showed babies as young as one being abused and the age range of the innocent victims went up to 15 years old.

Worryingly he had also been taking video recordings of children in a primary school playground.

Christopher Carlton, of Elnup Avenue, Shevington, was told by a judge: “By any measure you are an extremely damaged individual.”

Carlton, now 28, began his obscene collection of more than 73,000 images when he was aged about 14 and Judge Robert Warnock, who sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment, said: “The images are obsessively sorted and categorised.”

Before his sentencing hearing the judge had ordered psychiatric, psychological and probation reports to see how the protection of the public, and particularly children, could best be served.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the psychologist believed his condition was “unlikely to be susceptible to treatment” and the probation service have assessed him as “presenting a high risk to children.”

Judge Warnock pointed out that the courses in the communty that might benefit Carlton are not available anyway because of funding problems and there are limitations on treatment in prison if the sentence is less than four years.

Jailing him Judge Warnock told him: “You have no insight into the extent of the abuse of the children depicted or your promotion of that abuse.”

He also said that he agreed he presented a risk to children in the light of the pleasure he admitted deriving from videoing children.

“You have distorted and concerning views about sexual boundaries,” he said.

Judge Warnock pointed out that Carlton had a degree of autistic spectrum disorder, is intelligent, having previously excelled academically, and is socially isolated.

Keith Sutton, prosecuting, said that Carlton was arrested as part of the National Crime Agency investigation, Operation Notarise, targeting people distributing images through peer to peer platforms on the internet.

He arrived home during the raid on July 3 last year and admitted the indecent images were his. Examination showed they were in all three categories of seriousness and there were also extreme porn and prohibited images.

There were so many images discovered on his various computers that experts stopped counting at 73,000. They also found the video recordings of children playing in the playground, said Mr Sutton.

Carlton pleaded guilty to a total of 22 offences involving possessing and making indecent images and six offences of possessing extreme and prohibited images.

Judge Warnock, who said he was in urgent need of assessment and treatment, ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order,

Cheryl Mottram, defending, said that the difficulty was that funding is not in place for courses to address the risk he poses.

“It is a false economy because sending him into custody is equally as expensive for the taxpayer.

“It is best to reduce the risk.

“He will be released from prison eventually and if the risk is not addressed it will be a problem for society,” said Miss Mottram, who pointed out that he has no previous convictions.