'Pervert' given suspended jail term for collecting thousands of indecent images

A man with a sexual interest in children amassed a collection of more than 140,000 indecent images.

Wolverhampton Crown Court
Wolverhampton Crown Court

Josh Stratford, 24, of Streetly, was caught out after police investigators picked up intelligence that photographs had been transmitted via online picture transfer website Dropbox.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that following a search of the defendant's home 158 category A images (the worst); 266 category B images and 758 category C images were discovered on some of the defendant's electronic devices. The collection included images of a female as young as four.

Prosecuting barrister Miss Amanda O'Mara said the defendant failed to hand over pass codes for four other devices and made "no comment" in his police interviews, but the officers estimated that he accessed 141,000 other images using the dark web and private networks over a four-year period.

The veterinary student, of Inglewood Grove, Streetly, in Walsall, previously pleaded guilty to three counts relating to possessing indecent photographs on May 18 last year.

Mitigating barrister Mr Callum Church said: "It is thoroughly unacceptable and there is no justification or explanation."

He added that Stratford had since attended courses with child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.

Recorder Abigail Nixon told him his behaviour had been "perverted". She added: "This will affect your future and the rest of your life."

She sentenced him to eight months in jail, suspended for 12 months. He must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, attend up to 35 activity days to address mental health issues, and pay costs of £425 within three months. He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

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