A HUDDERSFIELD man behind a sickening internet site used by paedophiles was being freed today.
It came after top judges rejected claims his one-year sentence was "unduly lenient".
After an investigation that started with the seizure of a computer hard drive in Colorado, USA, police swooped on the Huddersfield home of the site's "active administrator" Timothy Pickup and discovered his role in an international porn conspiracy.
Pickup, 45, was later forced to flee his home and could not even return to retrieve his belongings, the court heard.
Lord Justice Kennedy told London's Appeal Court it emerged he had played a central role in administrating a password-secured bulletin board used by paedophiles to access child pornography .
Pickup, of Wellington Street, Oakes, was given a 12-month jail term at Bradford Crown Court in June after he admitted conspiring to distribute indecent images of children and 15 specimen counts of making indecent images of children.
At the Appeal Court, lawyers representing Solicitor General Harriet Harman attacked the sentence as "unduly lenient".
The bulletin board advertised such sites as "extreme lolitas", "lolitas for sale" and "pre-teen goddess".
Miss Harman's counsel, Huw Davies, argued a 12- month jail term was nowhere near long enough to mark public abhorrence of child porn.
Bulletin boards of the type administered by Pickup operated like a secure private members' club and were the lifeblood of the paedophile community, the barrister said.
Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting with Mr Justice Bell and Mr Justice Hughes, agreed such cases caused real concern.
The fact Pickup had acted as a distribution organiser on the website was a serious aggravating feature.
But he said the prosecution had failed to prove that Pickup knew of the actual content of porn websites advertised on the bulletin board or that he had used "scrubber" programmes to clean his computer of child porn images.
Rejecting Miss Harman's bid to increase Pickup's sentence, the judge concluded: "We are not persuaded that the sentence imposed in this case was unduly lenient."
The court heard Pickup was due to be released on parole today.
The court heard that police found 161 compact disks at Pickup's Huddersfield home, three of which contained 174 indecent images of children.
Two images of naked young girls on his computer hard drive - one of them partially deleted - led police to suspect he had used special software to remove criminal material.
But Pickup insisted he only used the software to remove clutter from his computer.
Charges of conspiring to pervert the course of justice were left on the file.
The Colorado source of the investigations had given himself the nickname Wizard and it soon emerged Pickup had been an administrator of the bulletin board which, while containing no obscene images, advertised links to child porn sites.
On the day of his arrest, Pickup had to be taken to hospital. He co-operated with police, but tried to downplay his role as administrator and "exaggerated his disenchantment with paedophilia".
Computer records showed he accessed the bulletin board - 30% of the content of which related to child pornography - three to five times a day.
A LEADING children's charity has called for sentencing guidelines in child pornography cases to be reviewed following the expected release of Timothy Pickup.
The NCH wants judges to stop using the sliding scale of one to five on the severity of images involved, to predict how much danger those convicted might pose to children.
Solicitor General Harriet Harman failed yesterday in a bid to increase a 12-month jail sentence imposed on Oakes man Pickup for internet child pornography offences.
Three judges in the Court of Appeal rejected Ms Harman's submission that the prison term was "unduly lenient".
NCH's internet adviser John Carr said of the guidelines, which were issued to judges in November 2002: "They were intended to act as a guide in reflecting the harm done to children in the making of the images, which are graded from one to five, with five the most severe.
"What they're actually doing is assuming that somebody found in possession of level one or two images is less likely to be a danger to children in the future than someone at level five.
"There's absolutely no evidence at all to support that notion, in fact the opposite could be true."