Ex-Tigers player jailed over child porn collection

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A former Castleford Tigers player has been jailed for possessing more than 20,000 indecent images of children.

Philip Eden was jailed for 16 months by a judge who described the amount of horrific illegal images as “enormous”.

Eden, who played for the Wheldon Road club between 1994 and 1996, had more than 4,000 disturbing images of children, the majority of which featured youngsters under the age of ten being sexually abused.

Leeds Crown Court heard the images and films, some of which were less than a year old, were graded at levels four and five - the two most serious categories of offending.

Eden, 49, of Geary Drive, Alverthorpe, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to 21 charges of possession of indecent photographs of children.

The sportsman was arrested after police received intelligence about his offending and executed a search warrant at his home on December 6 last year.

Computers were taken from his home and the images were discovered.

Christopher Morton, mitigating, said Eden would lose his job as a technical housing officer at Wakefield and District Housing, where he has worked for 23 years, if sent to prison.

He said Eden, who also played for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats between 1982 and 1994, carried out the offences while he was suffering from depression following the breakdown of the relationship with his partner.

Judge Sally Cahill QC, told Eden: “The amount of pornography in relation to children in your possession I view as being enormous.”

After the hearing, Det Con John Higgins, of West Yorkshire Police’s abusive images unit, said: “Philip Eden had a vast collection of images depicting children being abused.

“West Yorkshire Police will always robustly investigate any individuals who are thought to be in possession of any such material.”