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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 13:26 GMT
Two jailed for child porn library
A former vicar and a paedophile rights campaigner have been jailed after a huge child porn library was uncovered at the former vicar's then Surrey home.

Nearly 50,000 images from magazines, videos and slides, were found in a secret vault in the country house.

Former minister Michael Studdert, 67, was jailed for four years after admitting making indecent images.

Thomas O'Carroll, 61, of Warwickshire, admitted distributing child porn images and was given two and a half years.

These courts will do whatever lies in their legal power to ensure that children are safe from sexual abuse or harm
Judge Roger Chapple

Studdert admitted 20 sample counts of making indecent images of youngsters between January 2001 and the beginning of this year. He also admitted one charge of distributing them and one of possession.

O'Carroll, of Leam Street, Leamington Spa, who had helped to run the library from his then home in Shildon, Co Durham, admitted two counts of distributing child porn images between January 1995 and 2005.

The library collection, which took 50 years to put together, was discovered after undercover police infiltrated a group known as the International Paedophile Child Emancipation Group and its subsidiary, Gentlemen with an Interesting Name.

'Secret society'

Both groups championed the legalisation of sex between adults and children.

According to police O'Carroll saw the groups as a base for an "international secret society" of "academic" child abusers.

The court heard the vault, built in a house on a 17-acre country estate at Hindhead, contained one of the largest child porn collections of its kind.

Children, mainly boys and some as young as six, had been filmed and photographed being raped and tortured.

At Middlesex Crown Court Judge Roger Chapple told the pair he would do whatever is necessary to make sure children are safe from sexual abuse.

"The law doesn't require or allow me to sentence people for who they are or for their views, however repugnant I may find them to be, or simply for their sexual inclination or predilection, however distasteful I find that.

"These courts will do whatever lies in their legal power to ensure that children are safe from sexual abuse or harm," he said.

'Danger to children'

Speaking outside the court, case officer Det Ch Ins Neil Thompson of the Met's paedophile unit said he was a little disappointed the pair did not receive indeterminate terms.

"I do understand the judge's reasons behind it, although I do believe both men are a danger to children.

"However, having said that, I think they are more a danger to youngsters abroad rather than here. Both men have travelled abroad extensively over the years, particular to Eastern Europe, and any contact offending would have been done overseas," he said.

He described both men as "life-long paedophiles" who made no secret of their sexual orientation and that paedophiles around the world put O'Carroll on a pedestal.

O'Carroll worked as a teacher in Coventry in the 1970s and founded the now defunct Paedophile Information Exchange.

Both men have previous convictions for importing pictures of naked children.

Pair admit to child porn charges
21 Sep 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Paedophile campaigner walks free
26 Nov 02 |  England
Obsessed paedophile jailed
09 Aug 02 |  England

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