A PAEDOPHILE who hoarded one of the largest known collection of indecent images in England and Wales has been jailed for more than 12 years.
Geoffrey Crossland, 70, had 2.2 million indecent images as well as a weapons and ammunitions bunker at his Harrogate, North Yorkshire, farmhouse.
Jailing Crossland to 12 years and eight months, Judge Andrew Stubbs QC, said the “scale of the depravity” was hard to understand.
The judge told York Crown Court: “Your criminality was unearthed, almost literally, on October 18, last year when officers searched your house for images of children.
“One issue which is not forgotten is that these images capture real-life people, and at the same time real-life sexual abuse being carried out on them.”
Crossland pleaded guilty to making indecent images and 11 firearms charges and had previously admitted three counts of making indecent images between January, 2011, and October, 2018.
The images found at his home – 34,612 of which were in the most extreme category A – were described by the Crown Prosecution Service as one of the largest known collections in England and Wales.
Police uncovered SD cards, USB sticks, DVDs, SIM cards, floppy disks, laptops, tablets and mobile phones all containing images.
The prosecution told the court that the images were “painstakingly categorised” and notes were made of the best websites to access images and videos of children.
Material was listed under headings like “animal abuse”, “peach Asian street meat” and “young Russian brother and sister”.
He had a “longstanding interest in children” with the earliest images dating back to 1998.
Police raided Crossland’s farmhouse last October where they also uncovered an underground bunker with nine guns and 24,000 rounds of ammunition. The are was made of shipping containers and included a shooting range along with an area for making ammunition.
Marc Horsfall, of the National Crime Agency, said a team of officers had spent months analysing Crossland’s “horrific catalogue”.
He said: “Crossland and men like him are fuelling the actual abuse of children and the sickening distribution of those images.
“The NCA works with partners at home and abroad to catch child sex offenders and bring them to justice.”