Updated: Monday, 11th November 2019 @ 9:47pm

Bolton youth worker found with thousands of images of child porn avoids jail time

Bolton youth worker found with thousands of images of child porn avoids jail time

| By Kim Reader

A Bolton youth worker, who was found with thousands of pornographic images of children between eight and 13, has been sentenced to a three year Community Order and 36 sessions on a sex offenders program.

Paul Holt, 43, of Stich-Mi-Lane, who pleaded guilty to 14 counts of possessing and distributing indecent images of children, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years at Bolton Crown Court.

Holt’s child porn collection was discovered as a result of Operation Spade, an international investigation led by Canadian police into the activities of a Canada-based online retailer masquerading as a film distribution company.

Detective Sergeant Pete Astbury from The Phoenix Exit Team, Bolton's Joint Agency Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, wanted to assure parents that there is no evidence Holt has ever had any sexual contact with a child.

He said: “I know there will be parents who have children that have come into contact with Holt who will understandably be concerned for their children’s welfare.

“I want to stress that we have no evidence to suggest that any physical abuse or contact offending has taken place, the images Holt downloaded were taken from the internet.

“Nevertheless, the seriousness of downloading and possessing indecent images of children cannot be understated.

“It is people like Holt who download and view child pornography that creates the market for those who abuse children and seek to profit by selling these horrendous images.”

Operation Spade established that many of the films available through the Canadian company contained child pornography and indecent images of children.

When warrants were executed at the company’s premises, customers from around the world were identified and individual cases passed to the relevant forces.

Greater Manchester Police received a package of information from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit and raided Holt's home on December 4 2013.

Holt was arrested and the house was searched – officers seized a number of items including a computer tower belonging to Holt.

The tower was examined by officers in GMP's High Tech Crime Unit which revealed 2,565 suspected indecent images in both picture and video format.

The children in these images ranged from eight to 13-years-old.

DS Astbury said: “This case shows that enforcement agencies across the globe such as ourselves and CEOP are working tirelessly, and in partnership, to root out anyone who views child pornography and protect vulnerable children who are at risk of abuse.”

GMP has set up a help line and anyone who has information or concerns regarding this case can contact them on 0161 856 1738.

Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

GMP has specially trained officers in place to provide a first class response to victims and help support them through the criminal justice process.

St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, can also be contacted on 0161 276 6515.

They provide a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault.

Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.

The Phoenix Exit Team can be contacted on 01204 337195 and can advise anybody concerned about a young person who they believe may be involved in Child Sexual Exploitation.

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.