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Canadian tip-off snares Wirral child porn OAP; Pensioner found with vile images.

Byline: JOE THOMAS ECHO Reporter joe.thomas@trinitymirror.com joe_thomas18 @

A PENSIONER was found with hundreds of indecent images of children after Merseyside Police were tipped off by Canadian officers investigating an international exploitation ring.

More than 1,000 vile images were found on Geoffrey Kneen's laptop, as well as a "pre-internet" file containing a collage of pictures of naked boys.

The 68-year-old's Wirral home was searched after a Toronto police-led operation uncovered a firm selling explicit images of Eastern European children. Kneen pleaded guilty to eight charges of making, which typically means downloading, and possessing indecent images of children at Wirral magistrates' court last month. His collection contained 34 pictures classed as Category B and 1,265 of Category C. Category A is the most severe under Crown Prosecution Service guidelines.

He was arrested after police in Canada exposed a multi-million dollar child exploitation operation, finding records of those who had purchased products from a firm called Azov Films.

The producers of the movies sold through the company have been convicted in their respective countries, according to Toronto police.

Neil Addison, prosecuting at Liverpool Crown Court, said: "This was an investigation by police following information from Canadian police in Toronto who had raided a site known as Azov Films, a company who it transpired were selling indecent photos. The police investigated the servers of Azov Films and a large number of people in the UK were on that and details were passed on. One of them was Mr Kneen, and his email address, stating in 2010 he had purchased a total of four DVDs."

The DVDs contained scenes taken from Crimea, an area that was formerly part of Ukraine until it was annexed by Russia earlier this year.

When police searched Kneen's home on Greenbank Road, West Kirby, they found a total of nine DVDs and "a file described as containing a collage of images of naked boys aged approximately 8-16 years" described as "pre-internet" by Mr Addison. Kate Morley, defending, said: "Not only has he pleaded guilty, as soon as officers attended his home address he accepted the email address was his and he purchased the DVDs."

She added he would welcome help and that the case had cost him his rela-tionship with his family - with him also looking to move home after "some noise in respect to the local community".

Ms Morley said: "There have already been devastating consequences as a result of his actions."

Sentencing him to a three-year community order, Judge Lewis said: "You suggested bizarrely [when interviewed] that some of these boys in these photos and scenes appear to be happy at what was happening to them.

"You don't appear to have considered what inducements or perhaps force was being used to persuade them to comply ... anyone who thinks that offences of this kind are victimless is hugely misguided."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Nov 25, 2014
Words:476
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