Pensioner possessed indecent images

A pensioner was jailed for three years yesterday after admitting possessing more than 82,000 pictures of children. Alan Catchick, 67, of Beech Road, King's Lynn, first came to the attention of police in July 2004 after he was photographing children in the town centre using a covert camera concealed in a cigarette lighter.

A pensioner was jailed for three years yesterday after admitting possessing more than 82,000 pictures of children.

Alan Catchick, 67, of Beech Road, King's Lynn, first came to the attention of police in July 2004 after he was photographing children in the town centre using a covert camera concealed in a cigarette lighter.

When police seized his computer they found 130,000 images, over two-thirds of which were indecent images of children.

The pictures featured children of all ages. Twenty-nine images were classified as level five, the most extreme of all.

A number of emails had been sent to and from Catchick's computer, containing indecent images and stories.

A second computer was seized, and while this did not contain any illegal images, it did contain some pictures of children taken covertly as well as images of youngsters taken from children's television programmes.

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In mitigation, Tim Brown said: “These are, in anybody's view, a vast number of images and a significant number are very serious level five images. That makes this a very serious case and I don't seek to minimise that.

“It's not, however, a case where he has been distributing this material for profit or to people who were not previously involved.”

He said Catchick was full of genuine remorse and fear as to his future.

Catchick had developed an interest in child pornography after his divorce from his second wife, he said.

Catchick admitted 13 charges: six of distributing indecent photos, six of making indecent photos, and one of possessing the material.

Sentencing Catchick, Judge Simon Barham gave him credit for his guilty plea and previous good character, and said he was taking into account his age and ill health.

“Nevertheless, I regard this as an exceptional case,” he added.