British man jailed for indecent images of Filipino boys as young as nine

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Edward Bell

A British man has been jailed after being found in possession of 45,000 indecent images of Filipino boys as young as nine.

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Edward Bell, aged 59, maintained two Facebook accounts — one for his family and the other to communicate with pimps in the Philippines.

Bell, a former pub owner, has now been jailed for 16 months at Newcastle Crown Court.

A report in the Chronicle newspaper reported that police executed a search warrant at his home in December 2015.

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He immediately confessed to investigating officers what he had been doing.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: “He said the images were from 10 years upwards, the investigation suggests nine to 11 year old.

“He said he knew he should not be doing it.

“He used a website which led to his identification to make contact with others in relation to sharing any such images.

“He had two Facebook accounts — one for the family and one he used to contact people in the Philippines.

“He made full admissions to the offences.”

Of the images found on his laptop, 6,700 were of the most serious category, 8,900 were category B and 29,500 category C. There was also one image of “extreme” pornography.

Bell, of Felling, Gateshead, had no previous convictions. He guilty to three offences of making indecent images and one of possessing extreme pornography.

Sentencing him, Recorder Simon Kealey QC said: “He admitted sharing and was intending to share quite a substantial number of images.

“In my judgement these offences are so serious only an immediate custodial sentence, in the circumstances, can be justified.”

As well as the 16-month sentence, Bell was made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offenders register.

Edward Bell drink problem

David Comb, defending, said: “It’s almost two years since that warrant was executed at his home and in that time he has pro-actively undertaken a good deal of work the probation service might have expected to do with him.

“For a long time he and his wife were publicans. As with many people in that trade he became accustomed to drinking a lot of alcohol without realising that would become a problem.

“When they were almost forced out of the trade by the brewery and made an unsuccessful investment in a shop with their son, he started experiencing stress, boredom and loneliness.

“He began staying up late at night in front of the computer, drinking far too much alcohol.

“He was extremely candid with the police and that was the beginning of a demonstration of the will to change.”

Mr Comb said Edward Bell had stopped drinking for two years, had undergone cognitive behavioural therapy and probation reports said he was a low risk.

He added: “He has synced his internet use with his wife so she can see what he sees.

“He is incredibly fortunate to have ongoing support from her and his grown up children.”

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