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Experts demand tougher jail terms child porn downloaders

Angry demands have been made by professionals who work with victims of sexual abuse for tougher jail sentences to be imposed on those guilty of downloading indecent images of children.

The call comes after Paul Alexander Gardner, of Cherryhill Avenue, Dundonald, was sentenced to four years for downloading more than 90,000 depraved images and videos of children being abused — but will serve only two behind bars.

The jail term has been branded “appalling”.

Eileen Calder, from the Northern Ireland Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre, said Gardner was “a real danger”, adding that the seriousness of downloading such images is not reflected in sentencing.

“This is not some kind of innocent hobby,” she said. “It is a nonsense to say he is not a danger of contact abuse with children. This man is a danger.”

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. It is part of UK policing and tracks and brings offenders to account, either directly, or in partnership with local and international forces.

Chief Executive Jim Gamble said: “Covert investigators operate in environments which are popular with offenders so those people who seek to share images never know whether the person they're talking to is a like-minded individual or a police officer.”

Belfast Telegraph