NewsCrime Desk

Married man downloaded one million indecent images and videos of children

Crime DeskBy Sunday World
Christopher Daldorph
Christopher Daldorph

A hospital radiographer believed to have downloaded at least a million indecent images and videos of children has been jailed for two years and four months.

Christopher Daldorph, 45, spent up to two hours each day viewing the sickening material at his home in West Wick, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

He was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) in April, and told officers he had been collecting the files for 14 years.

Married Daldorph showed police to a bedroom in his home, where his computer hard drive was concealed behind a wooden panel.

He had also stashed indecent images on his wife's laptop, preventing others from accessing them by using encrypted passwords.

Officers found 20 devices, with one hard drive alone containing 1.8 terabytes of data, consisting of more than 150,000 images and videos, including thousands of category A files - the most extreme kind.

The NCA believes Daldorph downloaded "well in excess" of a million pictures and videos, making his case one of the largest single seizures of indecent images.

He admitted nine counts of making indecent photographs and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images between November 2010 and April 2015.

Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC jailed Daldorph for two years and four months, telling the smartly dressed defendant his actions supported the abuse of children.

"For over 14 years, as you admit, you have regularly set time aside to scour the darkest corners of the internet to find some of the more disturbing representations of child abuse available," the judge told Daldorph.

"This is in my judgment an extreme case of downloading indecent photographs of children. It is an extreme case because of the volume of the material which you downloaded over a substantial time.

"Your obsession with child pornography causes the court great concern.

"I am pleased to read and accept that you have, since your arrest, sought to address your obsession but an obsession it clearly was at the time you downloaded this material.

"What you did, as I hope you understand, encourages and supports the quite terrible abuse of children which underlies it."

Prosecuting, Raj Punia told Bristol Crown Court that NCA officers executed a search warrant at Daldorph's home on April 2.

Daldorph and his wife were arrested but she was released after he approached an officer and asked to "confess", Miss Punia said.

Officers found numerous memory sticks and electronic devices at the property, with a laptop hard drive hidden behind a wooden panel in a bedroom.

Images discovered on the hard drive formed six of the charges against Daldoph, relating to 141,351 images and videos.

"The material was found in a folder structure, by the age of the child, the action shown and also - if there was a name given to the child - by the child's name," Miss Punia said.

"Also found on the hard drive was a paedophiles handbook. This handbook was downloaded in 2014. It is by an American author. It suggests ways in which children can be groomed."

On the red laptop discovered in the lounge, officers uncovered 188 indecent images of children.

Pieces of paper with details and passwords for accessing the material were also discovered in the property, she added.

During police interview, Daldorph refused to comment on how many images he possessed, or whether he had shared them.

"He said he spent two hours every evening looking at these images," Miss Punia added.

"The obvious distress to the children at the time can be seen plainly on the images."

Representing Daldorph, Robert Duval said his client had a difficult childhood and grew up with anxiety and little self worth.

"He is ashamed of what he has done, he is genuinely ashamed of it," Mr Duval said.

"There has never been any suggestion that he has physically touched, abused or sought to engage with a child for indecent purposes."

Daldorph, who worked for the NHS for 17 years, was dismissed from his job following his arrest.

Speaking after the case, Christian Hall of the NCA said examination of the contents of the 20 devices was continuing.

"Daldorph was responsible for amassing hundreds of thousands of indecent images, some of them the most extreme possible involving very young children," Mr Hall said.

"Each of those involved a child being abused in some of the worst ways imaginable."

The judge also imposed a sexual harm prevention order banning Daldorph from using the internet unchecked.