Judges increase paedophile's sentence by 13 times

Image caption,
Graham was sent back to jail for six years and four months

A convicted paedophile who distributed indecent images of children has had his six-month sentence increased by almost 13 times by appeal judges.

David Graham, from Airdrie, was jailed last October for downloading more than 127,000 indecent pictures and clips and for abusing a boy and grooming others.

The Crown appealed against the sentence relating to the images, arguing that it was unduly lenient.

His six-month sentence has now been increased to six years and four months.

The 22-year-old had also previously been ordered to serve a further 18 months for an indecency offence against a young boy and for grooming two children with the intention of abusing them.

The court heard he befriended one boy on internet gaming site X-Box Live.

Graham was released on licence after serving six months.

The appeal against the original sentence for downloading and distributing the indecent images was heard at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, sitting along with Lady Paton and Lord Hardie, said: "I consider that the requirements of punishment, denunciation and general deterrence are paramount in a case of this nature.

"Viewing, downloading and distributing indecent images of children is part of the process of child sexual abuse.

"Each photograph represents the serious abuse of the child depicted."

He added: "Those who access this material through the internet bear responsibility for the abuse by creating a demand for the materiel."

Former bank worker Graham was found to have amassed a collection of a total of 127,269 indecent images on his computers, with thousands of them featuring pornography at the most extreme end of the scale.

Substantial sentence

In 2008 Strathclyde Police became aware that he had subscribed to a website showing indecent images of young boys and seized equipment from his home.

He later admitted downloading and distributing the material and was given a six month sentence for the offences at the High Court in Edinburgh last October by Lord Brodie.

At the same time he was jailed or a further 18 months for abusing a young boy and for grooming two others.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC argued the sentence relating to the images was too lenient and failed to have a sufficient deterrent effect.

He said that punishment and protection of the public, particularly young children, required a substantial prison sentence.

As he significantly increased Graham's sentence, Lord Gill added: "His methodical approach to trading and exchanging them was to store them under specific subject headings. The material is vile."

"His claim that he downloaded and stored it in order to trade with others does not reduce the gravity of the offence. If anything, it increases it."

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