Published: 00:01, 01 April 2014
A depraved loner caught with thousands of images of child sex abuse claimed he was waging a war against perverts downloading such sordid material.
Trevor Wright, who worked as a taxi driver, told police he accessed the pictures with the intention of unleashing a computer virus on people trading in them.
But the 47-year-old avid plane spotter, of Abinger Drive, Chatham, was in reality building up a “library” of more than 17,000 images for his own gratification, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
It was also discovered that some of the photos were of the young daughter of a family friend he had been sexually abusing.
Wright was jailed for three-and-a-half years after admitting two offences of sexual assault on a child, two of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, four of making indecent photographs of children, three of possessing such images and two of taking indecent photographs of a child.
His name will appear on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and he will be banned from working with children.
Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan said when police raided Wright’s home in April last year and seized computer equipment they also found underwear belonging to children.
Claiming he was on a crusade against internet porn, he claimed he was unable to infiltrate culprits’ computers because of anti-virus protection.
Wright, who also has an interest in fossils, said he began to store the material and explained it as being “not the horrible stuff, but bad enough”.
“He said he experimented,” said Mr Morgan. “He wanted to see if taking those photographs gave him a kick or made him feel fantastic.”
He took photos of a girl in indecent positions but claimed it made him feel “the lowest of the low”.
“He said he was testing himself on how far he could go,” said Mr Morgan.
Impact statements by the girl and her mother detailing how they had been deeply affected by Wright’s behaviour were read to the court.
Judge Philip Statman said of Wright suggesting he was some kind of vigilante: “In my mind he is in consummate denial.”
He told Wright: “In my judgement, it was done for your own sexual gratification. I have seen a selection of the images and they show young children being horribly abused by adults.
“Each one of these children is a victim. They remain unknown to us but they are not forgotten.
"This is a library case - over 17,000 images. It is clear you have little insight into what causes you to commit these crimes.”
Tom Dunn, defending, said it was difficult for him to mitigate beyond saying Wright had pleaded guilty and he hoped there would be a healing process for the family concerned.
“He does seek to voice his deep shame and profound sorrow at what he has done,” he continued.
“He said: ‘I will never forgive myself in a hundred years. There is not a minute goes by when I don’t think about what I have done. I am literally disgusted with myself.’
“He is a bit of a loner. He enjoys hobbies such as fossil collecting and plane spotting. He feels beyond awful about what has happened.”
Investigating officer DC Jo-anne Gordon, of the Kent Police Child Exploitation Investigation Team, said: “Wright exploited his position to sexually abuse a child, and this was fuelled by looking at thousands of images of children suffering the most horrific of abuse.
“I am pleased that we have been able to bring his actions to justice and would remind everyone that there is never an excuse for looking at this material, it merely serves to encourage further abuse and continue the suffering of the abused, knowing that others are taking pleasure from their torment.”