A sex offender who amassed a sick collection of more than 150,000 images and videos of children ‘wanted to castrate himself’, a court heard.

Judge Nigel Daly was told that James Carvell, 56, had collected the images out of an ‘obsessive’ compulsion rather than out of a sense of sexual gratification – and because struggles in childhood had left him with a deep ‘self-loathing’.

“He was desperate for help but did not know where to start – even to the point he wanted to castrate himself,” his barrister Preetika Mathur told Oxford Crown Court on Friday afternoon.

In total, more than 156,000 indecent images of children in categories A to C were discovered both on Carvell’s digital devices and on papers kept beneath his bed.

The twisted collection – amassed over 10 years  included sick and violent images involving child victims – some involving animals.

Photographs discovered beneath his bed depicted children aged between six and 13 and featured ‘elements of sadism’, the court was told.

In total, he had 1,057 images in the most serious category, 847 in the next category down and 155,073 images in category C.

Analysis of his devices showed he had searched for the material, using a special internet browser to try and hide his web history. He had bookmarked websites where indecent images could be found and appeared to have downloaded large numbers of files in one go.

Carvell, who was made a sex offender in 2004 when he was jailed for six months for having indecent images, was also in breach of his sex offender notification requirements. He had failed to tell the police he moved in with a new partner at the start of the pandemic.

Jailing him for 28 months, a visibly disgusted Judge Daly told the defendant: “The total number, as you have heard, of the different categories are in excess of 150,000. That is a staggering amount and it represents tens of thousands of children being exploited.

“Everyone of those images is an image of a child.

“It is almost unbelievable that such images in such quantities can exist and yet, no doubt, what we are looking at over all is but a tip of the iceberg.”

Carvell, of no fixed address, admitted breach of his sex offender notification requirements and possession of indecent images of children and extreme pornographic material of people having sex with animals.

He was said to be deeply remorseful and had recognised the impact of his offending on children.

Judge Daly imposed a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

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