COURT: Harrogate ex-banker jailed for indecent image offences

A former bank worker from Harrogate has been jailed after police found over a thousand lurid images of children on his computer.

Monday, 22nd February 2016, 3:04 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2016, 4:05 pm

Anthony Gibbs, 42, watched extremely-young children being sexually abused, York Crown Court heard.

He distributed some of the files to other paedophiles via Skype and even suggested they should meet up to view child-porn images together.

Gibbs, of Stonefall Avenue, was arrested on September 5 last year after police searched his home and seized a computer.

Analysis by North Yorkshire Police’s cyber-crime team showed that Gibbs had sent a large number of files to others on the internet chat site between October 2011 and April 2015.

At least 12 of these images featured child pornography and were rated Category A - the most serious kind.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said North Yorkshire Police’s cyber-crime team caught Gibbs out after arresting a convicted paedophile in Scarborough who had been chatting with the defendant on Skype.

Gibbs, who has also worked in retail, admitted downloading and distributing indecent images.

“He said he was intrigued by the images and the (online) chat,” said Mr Adlington.

Police’s Hi-Tech Crime Unit found 1,354 indecent files on the computer.

Some of these were duplicates, but 426 were “unique” files. Of these, 154 were Category A images and they included a movie clip featuring child abuse.

Mr Adlington said Gibbs - an only child who has lived with his parents all his life - was involved in “disturbing” online conversations and was often the initiator.

“It was discussed about finding young children - the age wouldn’t matter,” added the prosecutor.

“Child rape was a common subject theme.”

Defence barrister Ben Campbell said Gibbs was “living in a world of fantasy and fiction” and would never have acted upon his fantasies, although he recognised that real children had been abused in the making of the images.

“He has made positive contributions to society and worked ever since he left school,” said Mr Campbell.

He added that Gibbs’s long-standing career came to an end in September 2014 due to his “less conventional social life” and the fact that he was caring for his elderly father.

Judge Paul Batty QC said that “by far the most disturbing” aspect of the case was that Gibbs had arranged to meet up with other paedophiles.

“That wasn’t, in my view, fantasy at all - it was something that you wanted to occur, given your sexual proclivities,” he added.

“I do accept that you are emotionally and, in fact, sexually, extremely immature, but the probation officer (in the case) does not see much remorse in you for what you have done.”

Gibbs was jailed for 20 months and ordered to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for 10 years.

Mr Batty also made a sexual-harm prevention order, to run indefinitely, which will restrict Gibbs’s activities, including his internet use, when he is released.

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