Grandad child sex case so horrific detectives need counselling after investigating disturbing case

James Kirkley

James Kirkley

A married grandad has been jailed for downloading such horrific child abuse images that the detectives investigating his case now need counselling.

A judge said James Kirkley's sickening collection of 14,676 pictures and videos contained some of the worst scenes he had seen in his 35 year career.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Kirkley, a 54-year-old oil worker, who confessed to having a sexual attraction to children, had a hoard of shockingly disturbing images on two laptops, which included newborn babies being abused.

One image showed a very young child "bound, gagged and helpless" during a sickening attack and Kirkley's video collection showed animals involved in abuse of youngsters.

As well as downloading the shocking images for his own collection, Kirkley shared his pictures and videos with like minded perverts online.

Kirkley, of Longstaff Gardens, South Shields, was arrested after his home was raided in January and pleaded guilty to making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children as well as possessing extreme pornography.

The images range from the worst of their type, which is category A, to the less extreme category C.

He said he started the horrifying collection through "boredom".

Judge Stephen Earl jailed Kirkley for two years, said he must sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and abide by a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Judge Earl said: "One of the images, an officer tells me, and I cannot disagree, is perhaps the worst category A image that has been seen, such that the officers themselves have had to be referred for counselling.

"They demonstrate some of the worst, if not the worst, in 35 years, that I have seen."

The judge said the public would find it "inexplicable" that a man could get sexual gratification from seeing such heartbreaking abuse.

He told Kirkley: "You did not directly abuse these children but your participation, in watching and distributing this, fuels that very thing."

The court heard Kirkley has confessed he has a sexual interest in children as young as eight.

He has no previous convictions.

Graeme Cook, defending, said Kirkley worked across the world with his lucrative job as an administrator in the oil and gas industry but has been unemployed in recent months since his arrest.

Mr Cook said when word spread across the community of Kirkley's arrest and it's circumstances, the family were forced to flee their home and he has been issued with threats.

The court heard Kirkley had already started to delete some of the images before the police got involved.