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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Obsessed paedophile jailed
A paedophile who actively campaigned to legalise sex with children has been jailed for smuggling indecent photographs of naked youngsters.

Thomas O'Carroll, 56, of Leam Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was a founding member and former head of the now defunct Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).

The photographs, which he claimed were "artistic street photography" were hidden in his luggage which arrived at Heathrow Airport last October.

At London's Southwark Crown Court he was convicted of three counts of importing the indecent images into Britain.

Worldwide contacts

Sentencing him to nine months in jail, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC accepted there was no evidence that O'Carroll had interfered with the children.

"They (the images) become more sinister when seen against your background and long-standing expressed interest in and, it might be said, obsession with paedophilia," he said.

The court heard how the images were found by Customs and Excise officers during a search of nine crates which O'Carroll had sent from Qatar where he had been working.

Nearly 100 photographs were examined, with 54 featuring naked or scantily-clad children.

The court had been told that O'Carroll was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey in 1981 for conspiracy to corrupt public morals.

At the time he had been chairman of Paedophile Information Exchange, and was arrested after publishing the organisation's worldwide contact list in a bid to encourage sexual contact with children.

O'Carroll's name will be placed on the sex offenders' register and he was ordered to pay 1,000 prosecution costs.


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See also:

02 Aug 02 | England
31 Jul 02 | England
12 Jul 02 | Panorama
02 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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