Report by John Hawkins

A PENSIONER who had almost two million indecent images of children stored on his computers has walked free from court after receiving a two-year suspended prison sentence today (Wednesday).

At Gloucester Crown Court, David Jackson, 73, of Woodmancote, Dursley, pleaded guilty to making indecent of photographs of children between November 3, 2009 and May 9, 2018 in all three categories of severity - A, B and C - on six computers found at his home address.

Jackson’s computers contained 587 Category A images; 1,794 Category B images and 1,856,704 Category C images, the court was told.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said: "Because of Jackson’s underlying health issues I have concluded that sending him to prison is akin to giving him a death sentence, so I have no choice but to impose a suspended sentence."

The judge warned Jackson: “You need to reflect on the fact that your activities and your perverse interest in children are perpetuating the suffering of hundreds of young children around the world.

“Whatever it was that drove you to look at those images you will not be doing it again.

“If you squander this opportunity I shall park you in prison.”

Matthew Harbinson, defending said: “It is two years and four months to the day since Jackson was first interviewed by the police over this.

“During this time his health had deteriorated quite considerably.

“Jackson first got into pornography when his physical relationship with his wife ended in 2009.

“He first viewed legal pornography before he found a gateway to the illegal material. I am unable to offer an explanation over the sheer volume of indecent images. It must have been mass downloads. It would take over a year to view each individual image at five seconds each."

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said: “In normal circumstances I would not hesitate in sending you to prison. But I have seen your medical report which shows you have a number of underlying health issues and restricted mobility.

“You are therefore highly vulnerable and deserve a severe prison sentence but sending you to jail is not an option in case you contract the covid-19 virus.”

The judge sentenced Jackson to a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years; ordered him to pay court cost of £1,800 and to carry out 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days along with a monthly judicial review.

The judge ordered Jackson to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and made him subject to the terms of a sexual harm prevention order for the same time period.

The judge also ordered for the confiscation and destruction of Jackson’s six computers.