Man caught with huge collection of child abuse images after police raid on home

A man who was caught with a huge collection of child abuse images after police raided his home has kept his freedom.

Over 1,000 illegal pictures and movies were found after police attended Christopher Gilby's address and seized his electronic devices in June 2019.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the youngest of the victims featured in the collection was around ten-years-old.

After a lengthy wait, the court heard that an analysis showed there were ten category A images found, three in category B, and 1,190 in category C – alongwith three videos.

Christopher Gilby.

Gilby, of Lumley Close, Oxclose, Washington, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images.

Mr Recorder Mark McKone told the 40-year-old: "You have to be sentenced for three counts of making indecent images of children.

"The making is in the context of downloading the images. It's not suggested of course that you were taking the photos or the video recordings.

"There are three offences rather than just one because the law separates the images into three categories.

"All of these offences are serious but the category A images are especially serious because they show children being raped.

"When you look at these images you encourage other people to photograph these dreadful crimes taking place.

"I do accept that the category A images are fewer than usual although that is balanced out to some extent by the very large number of category C images.

"It is an aggravating feature that some of the images are moving rather than stills."

The court heard that Gilby was of previous good character with no previous convictions or cautions recorded against him, and that he had stayed out of trouble in the three years since the offending.

The judge added: "I have to consider what order will make it least likely to commit offences like this in the future.

"A suspended sentence order makes it less likely you will attend in the future because the probation service can provide you with specialist help."

Gilby must now serve an eight month prison sentence, suspended for two years, alongside 30 rehabilitation days.

He was also made to sign the sex offender's register, and abide by a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, both for ten years.