This white magician is facing time in prison after he accidentally handed over child porn to cops.
Entertainer Nigel Hardman, 46, agreed to give CCTV images taken from outside his house to officers investigating drug dealing in the area.
The pedophile, who previously went by the stage name of Prince Razaq, duly handed over a USB memory stick.
However, when investigators from Lancashire Constabulary looked at the device they discovered an indecent image of a child.
The stupid child porn collector, of Preston, Lancashire, was arrested and initially claimed the photograph belonged to someone else, telling officers his ex wife had access to a computer.
But a search of other computer equipment in the pedophile’s home revealed 93 indecent images stored on various computers and hard-drives and the nasty pervert confessed to saving the images.
The magical pedophile admitted he had used search terms including ‘schoolgirl’ to track down child pornography but claimed he filtered the images and if they appeared to show underage children he would not look at them.
Paul Cummings, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court: “During his police interview he was maintaining the view that what he was looking at were legal images of people over 18.”
“When the allegation was put to him that they were clearly images of children he began to seek legal advice.”
The former entertainer, who also had a sideline driving stag and hen party guests around Blackpool in a 31ft limousine, claimed he could tell the girls’ ages by their appearance and insisted the images he was viewing were of actresses pretending to be younger than they were.
However he later accepted the 93 images found on computer equipment at his home belonged to him.
Mr Cummings told the court the images, which were categorized from Class A to C covering the whole range of indecent images under a new classification system, clearly depict underage girls.
Hardman, who once won a talent competition on Channel 4’s Big Breakfast for escaping from a straitjacket while standing on a bed-of-nails, has no previous convictions for sex offenses.
However, he came to the attention of the authorities when he was caught defrauding the benefits system of thousands of pounds, claiming he was too ill to work, while working as a sword swallower and fire eater in 2008.
After leaving his job as a civil servant due to alleged workplace bullying, he discovered he had a talent for dangerous forms of entertainment and created the persona of Prince Razaq, dressing as an Eastern fakir – in robes, complete with turban and curly-toed sandals.
He went on to set up a limousine company but that fell by the wayside when he separated from his wife.
The pedophile pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making indecent photographs and two counts of possessing indecent photographs at Preston Crown Court.
He will be sentenced on August 1.