Former Oxford academic who had almost 3,000 indecent images of children jailed

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A former Oxford academic who has written about the ethics of child pornography has been jailed today, after almost 3000 indecent images of children and more than 300 prohibited images were found on his computer.

Peter King, 63, was found to have accessed a number of websites known for sharing indecent images of children.

Analysis of his computer and hard drives showed regular access to indecent sites and his search history included ‘schoolgirl’.

Mr King was previously cautioned by police for similar offences claiming he was accessing illegal material for research while writing his paper ‘No Plaything: Ethical issues concerning child-pornography.’

However these new offences show a repeated pattern of behaviour, as King knew that what he was doing was illicit, but still continued to download thousands of indecent images.

On 20 February King pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and one of possession of a prohibited image of a child.

Today at Oxford Crown Court he has been sentenced to seven months in custody and given a sexual harm prevention order.

Paula Appiah of the CPS said: “King held an esteemed position at a prestigious university, but his actions fell far short of the law. The law is in place to protect young children and we are dedicated to bringing perpetrators of this crime to justice.”

Notes to editors

  • Paula Appiah is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS Thames and Chiltern
  • Peter King (27/03/1956) had 2992 indecent images of children and 321 prohibited images on his computer.

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