A HISTORIAN accused of downloading tens of thousands of sexual images of children has claimed he is a man of integrity.

Peter Anthony Hofschroer, 60, who specialises in the Napoleonic Wars, denied that he had used a Prussian regiment name for an account on a website of indecent images, carried out internet searches for illegal images or downloaded a story about children having sex with each other.

He claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy between a fellow military historian who won defamatory damages in a court case against him, the judge in that case and a Duke; and that he had evidence of senior people linked to North Yorkshire Police engaging in al fresco sex with Jimmy Savile on the North York Moors.

He denied he had been discredited through civil injunctions brought against him by the military historian and North Yorkshire Police. 

“Sometimes I get things wrong, sometimes I tell a little white lie - I am a human being – but I am a man of integrity. My record is not unblemished, but it is cleaner than most,” he claimed at Teesside Crown Court.

“You are a paedophile,” alleged Peter Hampton for the prosecution. He replied: "No I am not".

Hofschroer, of no fixed address and formerly of Rosedale Avenue, Acomb, denies 16 charges of downloading sexual images of children.

The charges relate to more than 36,000 pictures and videos found on computers in his former office in Acomb, on his laptop and in a computer tower found in a car he rented.  The trial continues.

In evidence, he denied causing a family rift when he moved to York in 2008. 

The jury have heard technical evidence that the images were downloaded from 1997 to 2014 and that when he was arrested, he accused the interviewing officers of being sex offenders.

In cross-examination, Mr Hampton alleged that whenever anyone challenged Hofschroer he got very angry with them. 

“When anyone spends years persecuting me, I lose my temper,” he replied.

The barrister said: "You make people’s lives hell."

“Oh, really, what have these people done to my mother and I – nine years of persecution,” he replied. 

“To distract from what you are really up to,” said Mr Hampton. 

Hofschroer laughed: “What I am really up to?” Mr Hampton said: "Looking at images of little boys."

Earlier, he had denied that when he was arrested at York Magistrates Court, he tried to stop police taking a laptop he had with him, knowing it had more than 20,000 indecent images of children on it.

“I would have been insane walking into that situation anticipating being arrested with incriminating evidence on my laptop”, he claimed, adding the laptop contained evidence of police corruption he didn’t want officers to see. 

He had been about to prosecute three of his relatives and claims the images were planted on the computer later. 

Day 3 report: Historian claims he was framed by brother and police

A HISTORIAN has claimed his brother and North Yorkshire Police collaborated to frame him as having indecent images of children. 

Peter Anthony Hofschroer, 60, alleged he was the victim of serial harassment by police and social services and that they have refused to investigate his complaints against them.

He was giving evidence at  his trial on 16 charges of possessing indecent images of children. The prosecution allege he had more than 36,000 sexual pictures and videos of children ranging from the least to most serious on computers and laptops seized by police twice, two years apart. 

Hofschroer, of no fixed address and formerly of Rosedale Avenue, Acomb, denies all 16 charges. 

He claimed at Teesside Crown Court that he had been living in Austria with his mother in December 2012 when police seized computers from the Acomb house where he and his parent had been living until late 2009. The jury have heard that computer experts found nearly 7,000 illegal sexual images of children on them.

“I am not sure the computers the police seized were actually mine,” he claimed. 

He alleged his brother Robert falsely told police that the computer towers he had left at the house had been stolen in a 2011 burglary, and that family members had taken his possessions from the house without his permission. 

In July 2011, he had arranged for bailiffs to make an inventory of items in the house. 

“And suddenly there were the two computers there, that had been reported stolen. They had dramatically reappeared with indecent images on them. What a surprise,” he alleged. 

He alleged that through work in the computer games industry, he was aware of ways images could be put on to computer equipment. 

Robert Hofschroer had earlier alleged to the jury the towers had not been stolen in the burglary and denied putting images on them. Both he and North Yorkshire Police deny all Hofschroer’s allegations against them. 

The trial continues.  

Peter Hofschroer claimed he had logged 200 incidents of harassment by North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire social services, and that he and his mother had been unable to return to York  for years after they went for a Christmas holiday in Austria because they were intimidated into not returning. 

Day 2 report: He made life hell, says defendant's brother

A RESPECTED military historian harassed his family, made criminal allegations against them, sued them in the courts and ruined them financially, a jury heard. 

Martin Hofschroer alleged he had to change his job after his uncle Peter Hofschroer contacted his employer, alleging he was a pervert, a fraudster and a criminal.

Martin’s father Robert claimed relationships within the family were fine until his brother moved into York to look after their parents.

“After that it was hell, to be plain, it was hell.” he alleged. 

Peter Hofschroer claims both men have conspired with North Yorkshire Police to frame him with sexual offences. He also claims North Yorkshire Police officers are corrupt and child abusers. Both men and the police deny the conspiracy and Peter Hofschroer’s allegations against them. 

Fellow military historian and long-term friend David Pinder of Mirfield, West Yorkshire, described Peter Hofschroer as a “well-renowned” author of many books on military history. 

Peter Hofschroer, 60 of no fixed address, denies 16 charges of downloading indecent images of children.

The charges relate to more than 36,000 pictures and videos on computer equipment seized from the Hofschroer family home in Rosedale Avenue, Acomb, on December 7, 2012, from a laptop carried by Peter Hofschroer at York Magistrates Court on December 1, 2014, and on computer equipment found in an Irish car driven by Peter Hofschroer in November and December 2014.

The jury has heard when some of the charges were laid, Peter Hofschroer told officers among other things: “Your police force is utterly corrupt”, “I am an investigative journalist, you are trying to stitch me up”, “have you ever tried to catch a real criminal” and “I have enough evidence to put half of you in jail.” 

Giving evidence for the prosecution, Martin Hofschroer alleged at Teesside Crown Court: “He makes allegations against anyone involved in this. He has made allegations against North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire social services, 

“He emailed my employer saying I was a pervert, I was involved in fraud and I was a criminal as well. I left that job down to this and I went to work elsewhere. 

“We have spent as a family thousands and thousands of pounds in legal costs. We have lost our money. He has financially ruined us and we need our money back.”

He alleged the family was making a legal agreement over the proceeds of the sale of an Austrian house Peter Hofschroer had transferred to him and his sister in trust to avoid liabilities after the 60-year-old ran up a £30,000 legal bill through losing a civil court case.

The jury heard Peter Hofschroer made a similar arrangement regarding his half share of the house in Rosedale Avenue about the same time and that the house was at the centre of a row between him and his brother Robert. 

Giving evidence through a sign language interpreter, Robert Hofschroer, who is deaf and 64, alleged he had very little knowledge of computers other than writing letters and that he had no idea how to plant downloaded indecent images on computer equipment.

Robert Hofschroer also alleged that when he wrote a letter to his mother in Austria, Peter Hofschroer wrote on the envelope in German: “not known here, return to sender”. 

The trial continues.

Day 1 report: Man goes on trial accused of having 36,000 indecent images of children

A HISTORIAN who tried to prosecute his own relatives has gone on trial accused of having more than 36,000 indecent images of children.

Peter Anthony Hofschroer had a laptop with more than 20,000 illegal sexual pictures and videos when he arrived at York Magistrates Court on December 2, 2014, said Peter Hampton, prosecuting.

He was about to be the prosecutor in a case against his brother, with whom he had a long-running family dispute over the care of their elderly parents. He had more illegal images on computer equipment in his car.

Police were waiting at court to arrest him in connection with nearly 7,000 indecent images and videos of children found at his then home in Rosedale Avenue, Acomb, two years earlier. He had been out of the country when they carried out a search warrant, but returned to the UK to start the case against his family.

Mr Hampton alleged at Teesside Crown Court: “This defendant is a man who has a sexual interest in children. In order to satisfy that desire, he downloads indecent images onto his computer for his own sexual gratification.”

Hofschroer, 60, of no fixed address, denies 16 charges of downloading indecent images of children. They cover more than 36,000 videos and pictures ranging from the lowest to the most serious categories of illegal pornography.

Opening the prosecution, Mr Hampton said the defence does not dispute that the indecent images found on two computer hard drives and two computer towers in his home on December 7, 2012, on the laptop he was carrying at court on December 1, 2014, and on a laptop and a computer tower in his car, also in December 2014, were illegal.

“The ultimate question in this case is who put the images on the computers we are talking about,” Mr Hampton told the jury.

Hofschroer is expected to claim he is “the victim of an elaborate and cunning conspiracy by his brother and his nephew who have, in fact, framed him by putting those images found in 2012 on his computer equipment without his knowledge,” said the barrister.

“He will tell you he is the victim of a further conspiracy,” said Mr Hampton. “He will suggest to you that this includes police officers employed by North Yorkshire Police who have fabricated evidence against him ….. and that they did so for reasons I am sure he will explain, to discredit him.”

Mr Hampton alleged that when police tried to arrest Hofschroer at York Magistrates Court he became abusive and tried to claim that the bag he was carrying containing a laptop was not his.

Analysis of the 2012 computer equipment revealed some of the images were stored in a file called Peter/pics/….. and that the only user account on one of the computer with indecent images was called “Peter. The images found on the 2012 equipment had been downloaded over a ten-year period.

Someone using an account on one of the seized computers called “Peter H” had used a website known to police for hosting and making available illegal images of children within a minute of accessing an Austrian bank account. Hofschroer has Austrian connections, alleged Mr Hampton.

The analysis also revealed someone had used search terms relating to sexual activity with or by children on some of the seized equipment.

The trial continues.