Portchester pervert, 71, spent Covid lockdown viewing 1.5m child abuse images

A PERVERT who had more than a million child abuse pictures and videos has been jailed after spending lockdown sharing the vile images.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 9:42 am

Ian Wraith, 71, is said to have an ‘entrenched and enduring addiction’ to looking at the images of youngsters - some of whom were prepubescent.

Such is his obsession that he stored his 1.5m paedophile images in categorised folders across two hard drives and a laptop so he can find his choice more easily, a court heard.

Former timber merchant worker Wraith was jailed in October 2015 after spending up to 16 hours a day running a paedophile website based in India.

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Ian Wraith, 71, was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for having around 1.5m child abuse images. Picture: Hampshire police

When he was arrested with millions of images he told police he had ‘every single indecent image possibly in existence’. He had more than a national police database.

Today Portsmouth Crown Court heard he was released early from a four-year term in December 2017 but then recalled in March 2018 and jailed again for 16 extra weeks for having more images.

But when he was released from jail in February last year he went straight back to sharing images from the home in Portchester he shares with his 63-year-old wife.

He ‘couldn’t resist looking’ at the images, prosecutor Jeffrey Lamb said.

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Sitting at home just weeks before lockdown he started accessing two hard drives filled with images not previously seized by police.

Police found a laptop and the hard drives under his bed, along with printed perverted images in an A4 folder pre-dating his first jail sentence in 2015.

When arrested and asked what he felt about the victims of abuse he said: ‘Nothing.’

Wraith was arrested in December last year when police were tipped off he was using peer-to-peer sharing software, downloading and distributing images direct from and to other perverts’ computers.

Mr Lamb added: ‘He believes everybody should have access to those types of images.

‘He went on to say it’s a free world and this type of material should not be blocked because of somebody else’s thought patterns.’

He added: ‘There are 288,878 confirmed illegal images but only 18 per cent of the files had been viewed (by police).

‘Those investigating him estimate there could be in excess of 1.5m images of children on all of the exhibits seized from Mr Wraith.’

A psychiatric report found he was fit to plead in court.

In 2015 Wraith had 1.2m confirmed indecent images while running the India-based website where users paid around $40 to access pictures.

Appearing for Wraith at an earlier hearing, barrister Rose Burns said: ‘It's quite apparent from the papers and the man’s previous convictions and continued behaviour he has an entrenched and enduring addiction to child abuse images.’

Judge David Melville QC jailed Wraith, of Birdwood Grove, for three years and said he had an ‘extraordinary’ number of images in the ‘appalling’ and ‘very serious’ case.

Wraith told police he alone was responsible for the images at home.

He admitted seven charges - breaching a sexual harm prevention order, three charges of distribution and three of making indecent images - at all categories of severity.

Tim Compton, mitigating, said: ‘He got out of prison in February, a matter of three or four weeks before the country went into lockdown.

‘He was therefore stuck at home with items that the police, and I’m not blaming the police, had not seized previously and the devil makes work for idle hands.’

Charges reveal he shared 293 images on peer-to-peer software.

He must comply with a sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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