An Irish paedophile rights campaigner has been jailed in the UK today after a massive “Aladdin’s Cave” of child porn was found in a country mansion.
The library of magazines, videos, photographs and slides – nearly 50,000 images altogether – was stored in a secret vault behind a bathroom wall.
The collection, which took half a century to amass, was discovered after undercover police infiltrated the International Paedophile Child Emancipation Group and its subsidiary, Gentlemen With An Interesting Name. Both championed the legalisation of sex between adults and children.
Irishman Thomas O’Carroll (aged 61), a former teacher turned journalist, helped run them from his end-of-terrace home in Shildon, Co Durham, within half a mile of four schools.
According to police he saw them as a base for an “international secret society” of “academic” child abusers to further his twisted aims.
The self-confessed paedophile, who was jailed for two and a half years at London’s Middlesex Crown Court, was arrested earlier this year during a series of raids involving 100 officers.
Born in Co Carlow, O’Carroll, of Leam Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire in England, pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing child porn images between January 1994 and July 2005.
Also detained was millionaire Michael Studdert, 67, a former Anglican minister and school chaplain from Surrey. He was sentenced to four years.
The grey-haired defendants remained impassive as Judge Roger Chapple he told them their crimes were so serious prison was inevitable.
“The law doesn’t require or allow me to sentence people for who they are or for their views, however repugnant I may find them to be, or simply for their sexual inclination or predilection, however distasteful I find that.
“These courts will do whatever lies in their legal power to ensure that children are safe from sexual abuse or other harm.
“I will do whatever is necessary and legally possible to achieve that end, but balancing that against the interests of a defendant and society generally,” he said.