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January 26, 2007

Slightly Hysterical?

Not sure about this:

John Reid was under renewed pressure last night after a judge gave a man who downloaded child pornography a suspended prison sentence, citing overcrowded prisons and the home secretary's appeal to the courts to spare less serious offenders a jail term.

Might be the right sentence, might not be.

Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said: "The government has failed in its duty of care to protect Britain from serious and violent offenders, and in particular paedophiles. Was this the government that came into power with the slogan 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime?' This government has been anything but that."

Perhaps I'm being pendantic but looking at images on a screen doesn't appear to me to be serious, violent not paedophilia. I thought that last was, as a crime, something that was actually done to children?

Williams was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to 10 charges of making indecent photographs between November 2005 and May last year.

I assume that "making of photographs" was that in downloading, he made new copies of extant images. Not quite the same as actually "making photographs" as most of us understand it.

The case also drew criticism from the NSPCC. The organisation's director, Dame Mary Marsh, said: "It is unacceptable that people who have committed crimes against children are not jailed simply because prisons are too full if the severity of the crime requires a prison sentence."

I dunno: is it possible for us to identify any children who have been harmed by his downloading of the images? Has he actually committed a crime against children?

January 26, 2007 in Sex | Permalink


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Unlike pretty young women (and men), children cannot be assumed to be voluntarily participating in the pornography market. Severe punishment of the vendors and consumers of child pornography is justified.

This is apart from any moral considerations...

Posted by: Forester | Jan 26, 2007 11:44:38 AM

The 'making' in this sense does often refer to downloading - which is a nonsense really... possession should be a crime, as should distribution, but this isn't making the images.

I think that being in court, probably in the local press, may well have lost his job etc will be quite a punishment anyway.
Is a custodial sentence needed in this case? Its not essential, as I feel it is with someone who is an active danger to children (ie those who actually make the porn or who molest children).

The question of whether he's committed crimes against children is tricky - he's probably funded them, but is that the same as committing them? Tricky...

Posted by: Tristan | Jan 26, 2007 12:16:09 PM

Erm...Yes it does harm children. The individual act of looking at a website probably doesn't but then alot of kiddie porn is pay per view and so there are, I'm afraid, sickos out there whose business model is to rape kids in front of a webcam. Anyone downloading this stuff is paying his share in a pay-per-rape scheme.

Posted by: Patrick | Jan 26, 2007 12:48:17 PM

Anybody here good at legal hypotheticals? I hope so, because this one's been bugging me.

What if I was to sell a paedophile nudey pictures of myself as a four-year-old?

Nobody's being harmed, unless you count the pervert himself, but I'd still be profiting from suddenly-illegal images of a child, even though that child was now a 29 year-old adult, and it was me.

I just wondered what the courts would say.

Posted by: Flying Rodent | Jan 26, 2007 10:44:42 PM