Man admits compiling largest library of child abuse ever found
A lorry driver who filmed himself abusing children has admitted compiling the largest library of child abuse images ever found in the South West.
John Bidmead was found with at least 600,000 still and moving images on his computers, including some filmed by himself which showed him raping and abusing two young girls.
The 65-year-old is facing a long jail sentence after a Judge at Exeter Crown Court called for reports to assess his level of dangerousness and determine if he will ever be safe to release.
Judge Phillip Wassall said his activities were the most extreme case of child abuse he had ever known and police believe his hoard of pornography may be a record.
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Officers gave up counting the still and moving images when they reached 640,000 but believe the total is well over a million.
Bidmead, of Cullompton, admitted four rapes and four indecent or sexual assaults on one girl and two sexual assaults on a second. All these offences took place between 2001 and 2007.
He admitted four offences of taking indecent photographs and movies of one of the victims including at least one showing her being abused.
He admitted 14 counts of making indecent images or movies, including roll up counts totalling 640,738 films or stills.
These included more than 24,000 at the two highest levels which show adults abusing children.
Judge Wassall adjourned the case for psychiatric and probation reports to assess his level of dangerousness.
He said: ”I could easily make my own assessment of dangerousness but I have to consider this more deeply than that. This may be a case where the dangerousness provisions apply. It is likely to be such a case.
“It is unusual to find a defendant in a case like this who does not try to come forward with some sort of excuse.
“On the other side, this is the most serious set of child abuse allegations I have ever had to deal with and the probable conclusion is that I will have to find he poses a significant risk in the future.
“I need reports to help me decide that and I am also asking for a psychiatric report dealing with the assessment of risk.”
Sean Brunton, defending, said: ”The defendant puts forward absolutely no excuses or explanations for what he has done. He entirely accepts fully his 100 per cent guilt and culpability.
“He asks me to express that he feels nothing other than utter shame and disgust and guilt for what he has done. There is going to be no attempt to mitigate what was a long term activity with huge quantities of material.”