A sexual predator who has shared thousands of indecent images of children with other pedophiles has been sentenced to an extended prison term.
Christopher Spooner has created a group on an online chat program to share pictures and videos with other people around the world.
Officers also found emails and online chats in which Spooner encouraged a man to sexually abuse a child and send him videos and pictures of the abuse.
The registered sex offender was arrested on January 11 last year after the Essex Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) received reports that he was accessing indecent images of children – and violated a Sexual Injury Prevention Order.
Spooner’s home in Pattiswick Square, Basildon, was raided by officers who seized cell phones and memory cards.
Over 14,500 indecent images and videos of children were found on the devices.
Spooner had also shared 411 images on two online discussion groups in the 12 days leading up to the day of his arrest inclusive.
The 42-year-old admitted two counts of disseminating indecent images of children, three counts of producing indecent images of children and one count of violating a harm prevention order sexual.
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Spooner, who has been in pre-trial detention since his arrest, was jailed for the 11 offenses at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday February 24.
He was sentenced to 14 years, including eight years in prison and six years under license upon his release from prison.
He was entered in the sex offender registry for an indefinite period.
As part of the police investigation, 180 emails and online conversations regarding sexual offenses were found, resulting in further separate investigations.
This led to the discovery of six other suspects elsewhere in the UK with whom Spooner had been in contact.
These people have been arrested and are currently in court or investigations have been completed.
Investigating Officer Detective Constable Nick Riley said, âThe sexual abuse of children is one of the most heinous crimes that we as police officers investigate.
âChristopher Spooner is an extremely dangerous individual and he will spend a considerable amount of time in prison, where he will no longer be able to harm children.
âIn investigating Spooner, we identified other suspects and passed our information on to other law enforcement colleagues to bring other offenders to justice.
âAll of the countries we come into contact with share the same views as the Essex Police. This type of offense will not go unpunished. We will do all we can to protect victims, identify sexual predators and bring them to justice.
âAt the heart of each of these vile images is a child victim, who is being abused for the pleasure of people like Spooner.
âWhenever these images are viewed or shared, these children are exploited over and over again.
“No child should have to suffer like this.”