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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 18:36 GMT 19:36 UK
Father jailed for huge porn haul
Nicholas Ferry
Ferry stayed at home to look after his three-year-old daughter
A man caught with what is thought to be one of the biggest ever hauls of internet child porn in the Operation Ore inquiry has been jailed for four months.

Nicholas Ferry, 42, from Thame in Oxfordshire, admitted possessing 250,000 indecent images.

The father-of-two had also downloaded 495 obscene videos of youngsters on to his computer, Aylesbury Crown Court heard.

Many of the images were considered of a low-level nature of indecency, but most of the videos were more serious.

Operation Ore
Began when details of credit cards used on a US-based site were passed to UK police
6,500 names being investigated
1,600 arrested so far
46 thought to have been actively involved in abuse
Four committed suicide
Full inquiry may take two years
Direct action taken to protect 40 children
Thames Valley Police said the haul was the biggest seizure of internet child pornography in its history and was believed to be one of the biggest in the county under Operation Ore.

Ferry was a stay-at-home-father, who looked after his three-year-old daughter while his wife worked and cared for their newborn son.

Susan Drummond, prosecuting, said of the images discovered on Ferry's computer: "In some the victims were observed by officers to be clearly distressed."

Judge Roger Connor said a jail sentence would affect Ferry's "very loving" relationship with his children, particularly his daughter.

He said: "Sadly I have come to the conclusion that it is necessary for me to mark the disapproval of society for this type of offence by passing a custodial sentence, but I see no sense at all in making it a long one."

Thames Valley Police has strongly criticised the short length of the sentence.

Operation Ore is the UK's largest ever hunt against internet paedophiles and has resulted in the arrest of more than 1,600 men on a list provided by the Unites States Postal Inspection Service.


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