Harrogate man jailed for 12 years after police discover 2.2 million indecent images of children and cache of illegal weapons
A Harrogate man has been jailed for 12 years after police discovered 2.2 million indecent images of children and a cache of illegal firearms at his home.
Geoffrey George Crossland, aged 70, of Padside Green Farm, Padside, was sentenced at York Crown Court today (Monday) following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police with support from the National Crime Agency (NCA).
He was handed a 12 years and eight months sentence and was also issued with a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
He pleaded guilty to making 2,204,992 indecent photographs and videos of children between 1 January 2011 and 22 October 2018.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the haul of images is one of the largest known in England and Wales, with North Yorkshire Police describing as the largest quantity to be seized in the county.
The material was discovered when officers scoured his home on October 18 last year, at which point they discovered what has been described as a "secret underground bunker" containing weapons and ammunition.
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Wright of North Yorkshire Police, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This is without doubt the largest ever seizure of indecent images of children in the history of North Yorkshire Police. The investigation as a whole has been on a scale never seen before in our area regarding this type of offending.
“More than 100 digital devices were seized from an office area above the underground bunker complex on Crossland’s premises.
“Each device had to undergo painstaking examination by North Yorkshire Police’s Digital Forensic Unit supported by a team of specialist officers from the National Crime Agency.
“There was also the recovery of the prohibited firearms and ammunition. We knew that Crossland had, legitimately, been an active member of shooting clubs over the years and he had acquired a large collection of firearms-related items and ammunition which he stored in the bunker.
“Nevertheless, everything had to be seized and carefully assessed to determine what was and what wasn’t legally held.”