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4 August 2011, 14:12
A Leeds man who had the UK's biggest collection of pictures of child abuse has been handed an indeterminate sentence.
31 year old Daniel Taylor from Farnley was today sentenced at Bradford Crown Court.
Taylor was first arrested in December 2010 for offences relating to Possession of Indecent Images of children, after the Metropolitan Police brought the matter to the attention of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) of Policing Yorkshire & the Humber.
Using new file-sharing technology and state of the art software from the US which cross-references a range of data in order to “rank” suspects, the Met had identified TAYLOR as being the single most prolific “owner” of such images in the UK. Even today, according to this software, he is still listed as number one in the country.
A team of detectives from the Regional Organised Crime Unit then began a lengthy and harrowing investigation into the content of the computer devices seized from Taylor, using cutting edge, hi-tech intelligence gathering techniques. They enhanced the information supplied by the Met; working with officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Child & Public Protection Unit and the Hi-Tech Crime Unit, and gradually learned of the full extent and nature of his offending.
Some of the images found on devices around his home were of his own making. During one search of his property in Farnley, officers discovered a tin in the kitchen containing what looked to be a disposable lighter. It was soon revealed that this item was in fact a covert camera, capable of capturing & storing video images.
After enlisting the help of West Yorkshire Police’s Abusive Images Unit to trawl through the hundreds of thousands of images, officers were able to grade them from Level 1 – Level 5 using the COPINE Scale. 320 images and 57 videos were graded as Level 5, which is the most extreme grading for images.
By the end of January 2011, Taylor had pleaded guilty to 27 charges including 20 counts of making indecent images, 4 counts of taking indecent images, 1 count of overall possession of over 300,000 indecent images and 2 counts of sexual assault on a baby.
Subsequently, three further charges were also taken into account at today’s hearing as a result of two recently discovered indecent images that Taylor had taken himself.
Speaking of the case, Det Supt Steve Waite, Head of Regional Intelligence said:
'This case is the first of its kind for the Yorkshire & Humber region. Using this new technology and working in partnership has helped us to identify the most prolific offenders of this nature and enabled us to target our resources in the most effective way.
'The officers in this case, both from the Regional Units and West Yorkshire Police, are to be commended for their persistence throughout the investigation, especially in viewing all 300,000 images and successfully identifying two innocent victims.
'Taylor has highlighted during this case that not everyone who sexually assaults children fits into a stereotypical category, as he portrayed himself as a caring family man to the outside world, but behind closed doors he was something more sinister.
'This is why is it vital that we keep up with growing technological advances so that we can keep one step ahead and hopefully prevent more young children from being abused in the future.
'The message is simple, to those who engage in this sort of activity: try it and you will get caught; get caught and you will face the consequences and be brought to justice.'