Somerset

Batheaston man jailed for Canada child abuse materials

Robert Harper Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Robert Harper, 60, bought indecent materials featuring children from Azov Films in Canada

A British man has been jailed for almost two years after admitting buying child abuse images from Canada.

Robert Harper, from Batheaston, near Bath, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to 19 months in prison.

He admitted five counts of making indecent images of children and four counts of voyeurism.

The 60-year-old, who was arrested in March, will also be on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

He was also sentenced to a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which will start on his release from prison.

Avon and Somerset Police said the charges were in connection with Operation Spade, an international investigation into the purchasing of child abuse pictures from Canadian company Azov Films.

'Sexually exploited'

Information was submitted by Toronto police via Interpol to the UK. The National Crime Agency passed on details to UK police forces at the end of last year.

Harper was arrested in March and his home was searched.

Officers found almost 2,500 indecent images of children on equipment including a computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone and USB sticks.

Some of the images were graded as showing the most-serious levels of abuse.

Det Con Stuart Brooks said as well as the indecent images, videos of men being filmed in changing rooms without their knowledge were also found.

"While Harper may not have known the identities of the children he had indecent images of, the inescapable truth is that they're real children being sexually exploited and abused," he added.

"I welcome the sentence given by the court and hope this reminds people who want to make, purchase or sell indecent images of children that they aren't anonymous and they will be caught."

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