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28 January 2015, 06:19
A 64 year-old man from South Oxhey who downloaded more than 1 million child sex abuse images has been jailed.
Costos Nestoros, 64, had so many indecent photographs and videos that the police only had enough time to grade less than one per cent.
Of the 10,000 they examined 64 per cent were at Category A which is the most serious level, St Albans crown court heard.
Prosecutor Colin Banham said the police knocked on Nestoros' front door at 6am on 29 April. When asked if he had illegal images he replied: "I live on my own. I am lonely. I will tell you the truth. I have hard drives here."
He told the officers that one hard drive was for models and the other was 'hardcore.'
For two years he had spent 4 to 6 hours a day on his computer looking at child images. In a police interview he said he when he looked at an image of a particular child he wanted to build up a collection of that 'model.'
Nestoros, of Kirkaldy Gardens, South Oxhey, pleaded guilty to ten charges of downloading and possessing indecent images and videos of children and possessing prohibited images. He had one conviction for taking photographs of women in Covent Garden in May 1989. Bow Street Magistrates fined him £75.
Defence barrister, Jennifer Stewart said Nestoros had started looking at images in 2006 when he divorced. It intensified in 2012 when he took early retirement and cared for his elderly and ill parents.
Ms Stewart said he is also in ill health and had become isolated. "He has been candid and said he was addicted and needs help. When the officers came to arrest him it was almost a relief," she said.
She said he had made full and frank admissions to the police, pleading guilty at the earlier opportunity, was full of remorse and had sought help from the child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.
Judge Stephen Gullick said the "sheer volume" of images found meant that the sentence he was passing was outside the sentencing guidelines.
He told him "There were in excess of 1.1 million images. The misery to the children photographed is absolutely enormous. This is not a case of looking at an odd image."