News

Ex-UEA criminal law lecturer who fled court during indecent images trial given three-and-half-years in prison

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161

But he remains ‘a free man’

Julian Myerscough

A former University of East Anglia (UEA) law lecturer has been sentenced to three and half years in prison for possessing indecent images of children.

In a strange turn of events, criminal law lecturer Julian Myerscough actually absconded from Ipswich Crown Court in September 2015 during his trial. Facing 13 counts of possession of indecent images of a child and three for breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), the now 55-year-old criminal law specialist disappeared while the jury had retired to consider its verdict.

So what happened to the elusive ex-lecturer after he bolted?

Well, with local police making enquiries as to Myerscough’s whereabouts, a European Arrest Warrant was issued after they became aware he was heading to Ireland. He had been spotted boarding a ferry in Wales.

Myerscough — who was convicted of similar offences in 2010 and given a 15-month prison term — was detained by Irish officers at a Dublin hotel in early October. He was caught just hours before he was due to board a flight destined for Budapest, Hungary.

Unfortunately, this bizarre story doesn’t end here. While in custody in Dublin, Myerscough — appearing to use his detailed knowledge of criminal proceedings — lodged a number of appeals against his planned extradition back to the UK. In August of this year the High Court in Dublin ordered that Myerscough be released from prison as too much time had passed (almost two years) and he was now being unlawfully detained.

Now, Myerscough has finally been sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court, but in his absence. Found guilty on all 16 counts, he was handed a three-and-half-year prison term and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Judge Emma Peters — who presided over Myerscough’s original trial in 2015 — stressed that just because he had been in custody in Ireland for two years, it did not necessarily mean this would be taken off his sentence.

Speaking after the hearing, detective sergeant Simon Fitch said:

He [Myerscough] may currently be living as a free man, but I am confident justice will catch up with him eventually and will we continue our efforts to return him to the United Kingdom so that he can serve the sentence handed down to him.

UEA declined to comment.

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161 Comments

Trumpenkrieg

Another left wing paedophile.

(9)(18)

Anonymous

Right wing people are more likely to be paedos. They are also usually racist and greedy.

(10)(6)

Trumpenkrieg

Oh that’s funny cos all the arguments in favour of “intergenerational sex” seem to be coming from the Left.

(5)(10)

Anonymous

Hardly. The right wing press try and make you believe that. One of many tricks at getting the foolish and uneducated to vote for the right wing option, despite the fact that it will actually disadvantage them. A smart move by the rich, landowning class to make the stupid class give them a vote that allows them to stay rich, and for the poor to get poorer. You’re probably one of the stupid ones that lacks education.

(4)(2)

Terrence

Totally. Trumpenkrieg comes across as being one of those sheep / follower types. Such a loser lol.

(1)(2)

Trumpenkrieg

Ok. Post me a link to ONE piece of media arguing for tolerance of “intergenerational sex” in a right wing press outlet.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

Is it, like, a Mick Jagger sort of thing?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Milo Yiannopoulos

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Page 3 photos of 16 year olds in tabloids.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Yeah, in your fantasy world, mate!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Has actually happened.

Trumpenkrieg

Are you implying greed and racism are on a par with paedophilia?

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Same backward thinking ends up manifesting itself in different ways.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

In your particular case, probably.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Mole.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Moley moley mole

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Smolensk

(0)(0)

Anonymous

No, I think he just has a small cock, growing out of his forehead.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Yea you’re not full of shit at all

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Happy to go on record with it. I’m now a solicitor.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

You might help your creditabilty a bit more if you weren’t posting anonymously

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Fair point. Would rather clear with my firm before doing so.

(0)(0)

Trump and Craig

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

*pro-paedo

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This thread has BTEC debate.

(1)(0)

Ronald

What

(0)(0)

TruthTalker

It’s about time the tabloids start to put a disclaimer under every article they publish on this stating something along the lines of, “there’s no evidence that this MAN is a paedophile; this is strictly a non-contact illegal images offence by downloading. These people have not directly abused any children”. They don’t do that – instead what they do is they fuel vigilanteism by using ‘Pervert’, ‘Paedophile’, and this puts these peoples lives in danger.

The jury aren’t qualified to state what the age of the people depicted in these images are, but they are the ones to make the determination if images are indecent. And they’re notclever enough to understand the very technical computer based evidence, which results in many wrongful convictions, as evidence is taken from the prosecution at face value, and it’s hard for people to shake off this idea that authority is always correct, so they tend to not question the Police. The resulting humiliation is extremely damaging to someone’s mental health, so the psychiatric report that comes in is based off of old information during conviction.

(2)(10)

I don't like nonces

Fuck off.

Children were abused in order for the images to be made in the first place.

(4)(0)

Legalia

And you know that for sure? What about the thousands of webcam broadcasts made daily willingly if irresponsibly by young people themselves? I do not say it is right to look at these broadcast or keep them but to say that they are sexual abuse is objectively wrong. The law should be honest and say simply that it is wrong to look and to keep this material. Which in essence it does. The crime is the looking and the keeping and the distribution. There is no need to make it something that it is not. If someone gets a kick out of looking at car accidents,is he responsible for the actual accident? No of course not. But I agree with those who say he is responsible for something which may be intrusive and cause offence. In fact it may be a very offensive and devastating for for example the crash victims and their families. And for that he deserves punishment. That as far as I can see is the purpose of indecent image law, or should be.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

Yeah, and who grooms kids into making webcam videos?

PAEDOS!!!

#hangpaedos (after a fair trial).

(5)(0)

Anonymous

“I do not say it is right to look at these broadcast or keep them but to say that they are sexual abuse is objectively wrong.”

It’s not objectively wrong. It might be, in your opinion (which happens to be entirely subjective btw), inaccurate but thankfully you don’t get to decide what society deems sexual abuse of children.

Perhaps I am mad, but I think that it is abusive to view indecent images of children for sexual gratification. The fact that a child may have voluntarily caused that indecent image to exist and to be published does not change my opinion that an adult who subsequently views the image for their own sexual gratification is abusing that child, albeit in a non-traditional sense of the word “abuse”.

But that’s just my opinion, not some objective truth like you seem to believe your own to be.

(2)(2)

Legalia

I agree to an extent with what you are saying, it is constructive. But abuse must have a objective meaning,
with something we find repellent not giving the label abuse when it isn’t. Do I abuse anyone by looking at them and thinking in the wrong way? That is surely a separate Kind of Wrong. It becomes abuse when I direct any inappropriate feelings towards that person by voicing the feelings displaying them or whatever and the victim knows. Abuse does not need physical contact. I’m not trying to become clever or pseudo philosophical about this, simply that there must be a dividing line between moral repugnance and actual abuse. I think there is an objective standard and the law needs one. Generally we do not punish someone just for thinking something – we need them to voice it ,to do something, to write about it, to insite,to insult directly, to control, to humiliate always with the victims knowledge. And this can apply to a group it need not be directed at one individual – hence incitement to racial hatred. I could not see how an individual looking at this material if he didn’t make them do he is abusing
that’s all I was saying. I wasn’t saying that I cannot change my mind it’s just that I don’t see it.

(2)(2)

TruthTalker

The sustaining market argument is what is promoted by the system a lot. I’ve seen lots of this being said in courtrooms to in an effort to justify why a MAN has been brought before the courts, sapping tax payer money for little result. I know a thing or two about share networks, and I know how they work and what actually does sustain them. Just downloading does not contribute anything to a share network – it kills it, unless they sit for hours sharing these files back, the file downloaded will disappear from the network, and kill it. It’s important that ‘sustaining a market for images’ is reserved for those that deliberately share the material, and not tossed at people charged with ‘making’ and ‘possession’.

Browsers are too filtered for it to even be possible to source indecent images of children through them, yet searches in these browsers are being used to convict people, which I can’t understand, because it must be reasonable to assume that indecent images would come about as a result of the searches, which with these common browsers, they wouldn’t.

Paedophillia is not a mental health issue, it’s just classed as one, but it’s no more a mental health issue than homosexuality is. It’s a sexual preference. The mental health issue is the desire to view images of rape and abuse. It’s this desire that needs therapy for, not a conviction.

(3)(7)

Anonymous

No it fucking is not a “sexual preference”!!!!!

And stop up-rating your own comments.

People who abuse children deserve to hang.

(7)(4)

A. Pierrepoint (Dec'd).

“It’s this desire that needs therapy for, not a conviction”.

Nah. A rope is much cheaper and more effective at preventing relapse.

(9)(2)

TruthTalker

The principle that having images on your computer of a sexual nature is certain proof that you are a potential pervert and a danger to society who must be locked up and punished is profoundly false, yet the law demands that this happen.

The next step for viewers is to progress from images to real children, the current system would have you believe. The next step for a those watching violent films is to go out and hack up their neighbors then, but this just doesn’t happen. No. The number of real threats is bound to be less than 1%, if you take into consideration that the number of people convicted of images offending, around 2% go on to reoffend out of thousands 10s of thousands convicted. Doesn’t take much to work it out that the kind of people being hurt by this witch hunt for paedophiles are regular ordinary people that have looked at something inappropriate. The only difference between most cases is the level of addiction and the level of indulgence being slight to severe.

When these image viewers are put before the courts, they are guaranteed little defense. The Police purposely play mind games to break the minds of the investigated so that they are so terrified and exhausted by the end of the forensic process, that they plead guilty without a fight, even when innocent. When the accused attend court, they are basically cannon fodder. Broken, emotional wrecks after months and years of invasion. Their privacy is gone, they are by this point very mentally unwell. Yet the law thinks that these people haven’t had their punishment yet and sentencing is about to begin.

I wonder how many suicide deaths there have been after this process?

(3)(7)

A Barrister

Yeah, “TruthTalker”, something tells me you feel far too strongly about this.

Something to hide, have we?

Something to justify to yourself?

The fact is, it’s not a victimless crime as those who buy/share this sort of filth fuels the market.

They are real children being abused in these images, and it damages them for life.

Frankly, I’ve more sympathy for most murderers.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

“TruthTalker”, more like “BollocksTalker”, you have not in either of your essays mentioned the effect of being abused on the children portrayed in the images.

You have just portrayed the perverts as the victims of “the system”.

This speaks volumes.

Most of the “images” clients I have had are whiny selfish little men who are only upset for themselves when caught.

Occasionally you get a contrite one who wants help to change, but they’re mostly nasty little nonces who deserve to be shot.

(10)(2)

Legalia

Well, that’s a reasoned argument. The mention of the word client seems to suggest that this person either is or believes himself to be a legal practitioner. Either he is living in a fantasy world or he shouldn’t be a criminal law practitioner. In that role he is an officer of the law and has a duty to the court and to his client without prejudice to be achieved by legal means. If this person really is a legal practitioner including working for the probation service then such talk would lead to investigation by the Law Society or by the probation service. I suspect of course that this man is just a fantasist.

(1)(7)

Anonymous

Even officers of the court are entitled to private thoughts about their cases, as long as they don’t manifest themselves in the job done.

A solicitor or barrister is perfectly entitled to think of their client as an evil scumbag so long as they represent them to the best of their ability and advance the strongest case on their behalf.

I think you’ll find most criminal practitioners think that about paedophile clients, frankly.

(6)(2)

Legalia

Your comments involving shooting do not suggest you are doing your job if that’s what you do properly. Barristers will not talk about such thoughts, that’s why you will never be one.

(1)(4)

Steven

I know which solicitor firm you are with.

Not all your indecent image clients are paedophiles – judging by the numbers of arrests, most of them aren’t…

what does it matter abotu the suffering of the child in teh video, if you didnt inflict it? why should anyone get prosecuted for something an abuser did… internet thought crimes

(2)(5)

Anonymous

You know which firm anonymous posters work for?

You must have unusual clairvoyant skills to pick firm out from all those in London as well as unusual views ablut those who view child porn!

(2)(0)

Steven

I knew you’d narrow it down to a city for me

Legalia

Those are not the words of a barrister

(0)(6)

Anonymous

I suspect “Legalia” and “TruthTalker” are one and the same

This post has been moderated because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(4)(2)

Legalia

No we are not. Why the conspiracy Theory anyway?
Oh we can’t have two people disagreeing with you can we?

(0)(3)

Anonymous

The next step for a those watching violent films is to go out and hack up their neighbors then, but this just doesn’t happen.

You are wrong on this. There are many links to violent films and literature and criminality. The ‘Slenderman’ case is just the latest example.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36042081/slenderman-girls-try-to-get-early-release-from-jail

(1)(0)

Steven

you can find isolated examples of people acting on ANYTHING, but these people are unstable to begin with… and are small in numbers..

you can’t go around traeting everyoen like a contact offender just because they view something on a screen just because some psycho does

that’s mass paranoia,,, not rational

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Is paedophilia a mental illness? QED.

(0)(0)

Legalia

European arrest warrant law says that time spent in detention fighting a warrant must be taken into account. In this case the defendant was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months which is 42 weeks and in England 50% remission is automatic. This means that the defendant would have served 21 weeks in custody, which by coincidence is exactly the time he spent in Irish jail fighting the extradition. Putting aside the fact that three years and 6 months is unheard of as a sentence in these cases, that is without distribution or known children, it seems rather bizarre to continue this case and make claims that the time spent in Ireland
will not count. I say bizarre but I also say it would be morally correct to put an end to this as Justice has been done. Whether he likes it or not the defendant has served his time. The English cannot simply punish someone for exercising the right to challenge a European arrest warrant and for failing, which in any event he didn’t actually fail. An Irish Court has said that he was illegally detained, this on the basis of Irish and European law.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

This comment misrepresents the events in this case. The validity of the European Arrest Warrant was in fact upheld by the Irish Supreme Court in July 2017. The reason the Irish High Court ordered his release was because the incompetent Irish authorities miscalculated the number of days they had in which to extradite him, before the 25-day limit on detention expired (that 25-day limit having been stayed, pending the outcome of his many and varied legal challenges in the IR). Once the SC ruled against him, the clock started ticking again, and the Irish authorities should have got their skates on and sent him back to the UK. So, the only part of his lengthy detention in the IR that was unlawful was the last few days, after the 25-day limit had expired. As for the length of sentence, remember that this was not his first offence – he’d already served a period of time in prison in 2010 for similar offences – and the judge will no doubt have been influenced by his complete unwillingness to acknowledge his wrongdoing, or to accept the authority of the English courts. As for whether his time in detention in the IR should be taken into account, surely the fact that he was a fugitive from justice, having absconded from the Ipswich court while the jury was considering its verdict, should count against him? Is it morally correct to permit someone to escape justice in the UK by behaving as he has done? I beg to differ.

(2)(0)

Legalia

You are correct in what you say, absolutely so regarding its being only around 15 days. That said strangely the police in their press release seem to believe or at least give the impression that all the detention was wrong! Your point however regarding punishment for evading Justice is a little more suspect. This surely must be done by means of for example being illegally at large and charging the defendant for that, not simply because of some moral repugnance. Individuals should be sentenced for what they have done and not for what we think of them even if morally what they have done offends us. There must be law not “feeling” otherwise where would it end? And as I said in my post he has served nearly two years as many people do denying everything but they are still released at the end of the sentence however repellent stupid or deluded the protestations are. We do not punish people for being fools we have to let them go
However much we dislike them, to keep them longer we must find a law and sentence them on that.

(1)(2)

Legalia

Further you are correct about my comments not taking into account the full details of the case.

However even for second conviction this length of sentence is unheard of. That’s not my saying it’s wrong, simply that it is never seen as a matter of fact. Individuals are sentenced to three or four years but that is because of distribution and/or actually taking pictures with known children and with grooming combined and for vast quantities of particularly gruesome material. All I say is there is no precedence for this length of sentence that I can find given the facts of the case. My point was that the only explanation is to punish the individual for fleeing, which ought to have been done properly.

(2)(3)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Legalia

Is that comment about what you do of a Saturday night?

(0)(2)

Anonymous

All I say is there is no precedence for this length of sentence that I can find given the facts of the case.

Isn’t there something to be added to the sentence for absconding?

(1)(0)

Wankington Bear

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(1)

Scep Tick

” In August of this year the High Court in Dublin ordered that Myerscough be released from prison as too much time had passed (almost two years) and he was now being unlawfully detained.”

And just remember kids. Because of EU law, there is nothing an English court can do to overturn this uber-moronic decision.

(3)(1)

Legalia

Why is it moronic? Basically you just don’t like Europe. Anyway the the decision appears to be based on European Convention of Human Rights which we are not withdrawing from and even if we did it would be replaced by our own set of rights which would include keeping people too long in prison. Habeas corpus has been part of English law for hundreds of years and indeed forms the basis of any decent legal system. So explain why the decision in this case was moronic.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Surely this is Irish law? Can you point us to the source of this ‘EU law’?

(0)(0)

Legalia

You are an imbecile. The European arrest warrant act in all signatory countries and domestic law has certain limits to detention based on a European arrest warrant.
They have 25 days to extradite
after a final decision to extradite is made. All countries have accepted this. The legislation in fact allows an extra 10 days if applied for. In this case they did not do that. That’s where the EU law is- in the framework directives translated into domestic law. Do your homework

(0)(2)

Anonymous

I don’t see a link between ’25 days’ and ‘nearly two years’ – so there must be some other factor at play here.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Calling someone an imbecile seems to misunderstand the context of law, in that many practitioners will be specialists.

(1)(1)

Legalia

Yes sorry about the imbecile bit but it is very frustrating when people just throw things about about sex offenders Europe and clear pet hates with very little knowledge of what actually goes on. I am a specialist in in this field and criminal law. Still, apologies. That said, it’s still better than calling people fellow travellers in abuse just because they voice opinions

(0)(1)

Anonymous

A specialist in criminal law who responds to abusive comments with “imbecile” and “is that what you do on a Saturday night”?

I call BS. List your credentials.

(1)(0)

Scep Tick

Reciprocal enforcement rights. Irish Court judgment binds the English courts. Cannot challenge here.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Truthtalker, that was an interesting narrative. What is missing though is the core of the offence….
From the outside one imagines that while a regular parent or family member may post photos of their children and a neighbour’s children with Mickey mouse on Facebook, or with a bucket and spade or playing sport, they would not post them in sexual positions, or even at bathtime. They would stop at Facebook too, not load up on a *dodgy* portal.
This leads one to believe that images that prompt a criminal offence are firstly more depraved than those I have mentioned and secondly obtained by some sort of duress or thirdly, grooming.
This is supported in the public eye by the one famous case we are familiar with, Pete Townshend, millionaire guitarist for the famous rock band The Who.
Upon being charged with a similar offence, his defence was that he was abused as a boy and he wanted to research the phenomenon , hence looking at pictures. That gives the impression that the police charge this sort of offence where the images are one of abuse. – like Mr Townshend had allegedly suffered himself.
Is the abuse theme of the pictures versus “with Mickey Mouse or playing sport” a correct view for the person in the street to hold ?
Also, if browsers host pornography, chat rooms and you tube films of death of various kinds…where is this browser filter of which you speak and can you explain more about how the browser/ hosting situation leads towards less culpability or innocence of the accused.
Kind regards

(3)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(1)

Steven

Type anything to do with child pornography in google and it won’t come up with any. Basically, child porn terms won’t bring up anything. Yuo can hang around in a chatroom all day waiting around for underage to show up, sure, but you can’t bring anything up by searching directly for it, so accused has more reasonable grounds to claim the terms construed as image searches weren’t intended to bring up images

There’s no filtering of the murders and death videos, these are regularly uploaded to youtube-like websites daily

(0)(0)

Anonymous

How do you know?

Have you tried?

If so, why have you tried?

(0)(0)

Steven Rogering Yow

I ran some tests and discovered it, and also read up on the fact that for the last 5 years, search engines have crackedown on child porn so hard that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to bring up any indecent images by direct searching… i tried it to prove a point.. and it worked

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Browser searches show intent.

(0)(0)

Legalia

No they do not. They are in essence bad character evidence. Application must be made to include this evidence at trial.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

That is bollocks.

(2)(0)

Legalia

No it isn’t bollocks. The law is that you need intent or knowledge that you have downloaded a particular image. You may have searched for
material and found it all morally repugnant and rejected visiting the actual site.

Suchevidence is corroborative and propensity evidence but it does not prove the mens rea the intent in itself. It’s different when an Internet search can be linked with an image which is present, then you are right, that is evidence of intent.

The problem is that prosecutors
have a tendency to use anything, searches for Harry Potter films because they have Emma Watson as a star, adult pornography, or keywords such as school, which probably everyone has on the computer. And before you say anything you and I and the rest of us here
have traces of sites. The overwhelming majority of people charged with indecent image crimes plead guilty, disputes about the evidence of course only arise when the prosecution attempt to Bolster a weak case by creative use of searches. They even try when the defendant could not physically have done the actus Reus. That’s what I’ve seen, other people, may have seen differently. So please do not think that lawyers and defendants try Cleverley by technical means to exclude this evidence. Finally I will say that I have seen especially a few years ago when jurys were seen as not too savvy about the Internet, the police doing a Google search themselves, in essence saying he’s got Google this is what he could have done! Then they print off the sites they have visited and tried to have them presented to the jury.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“You and I and the rest of us here have traces of sites…”

Er… I doubt that very much, assuming you mean child porn sites?

(0)(0)

Legalia

That was exactly my point. Innocent search terms can be presented as suspect. Of course I’m not saying all of us have indecent image search terms but rather things like school, Harry Potter, even the atrocious Manchester bombing of young people, things like this have been used. It’s especially worrying when the computer has been used by for example a young member of the family. They hopefully don’t search for pornography but their legitimate interests can be used to show an interest in young people

(0)(0)

steve

Legalia, that’s exactly what I was thinking should be the case…. the prosecution take searches of the word pedo itself to suggest an attempt to bring up indecent image… when pedo would bring up nothing but information sites in a google search bar

do they have to print off web pages visited from search entered these days? or does prosecution just say he typed these searches into his browser, and there were a few deleted images recovered dated months prior to searches….

this kind of evidence is enough to scare the crap out of an accused, even when innocent, to plead guilty…

solicitors don’t do much for legal aid clients, so the accused is screwed by default…. is it my paranoia or are solicitors working with the prosecution to get an easy conviction sot hey dont have to work as hard in legal aid cases? they seem to make the clients look as guilty as possible by advisign no comment in police interview…. its as etup and a fix at the start

by the time the accused gets to court he looks guilty as sin,,, and the accused literlly wont have any idea what the images are hes accused of having until his first court apperance… they withhold everything from you till the last iminute on purpose, to scare the crap out of you

(1)(1)

Steve

if someone has these:
searches in a browser that look like deliberate seaching for indecent images
AND deleted files on hard drive that aren’t clearly labelled

would these be enough to convict?

or does prosectution need some kind of link between the searches and the files, such as dodgy websites or download lists? surely it they can’t just say cos you typed some dodgy searches in google in january, that the images that existed for a short time in september, must be deliberate? when theres not even evidence of any websites with indecent images on being visited?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Steve please can you offer an answer to anonymous 19 Sept at 1020 above. The Pete Townsend comment. That seems to be the most pressing defence point, morally speaking, if it can be made.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

It may be that they just use the search info as circumstantial evidence. It may also be the case that they can find search evidence, but not actual files that pertain to that search. As to the former, it could be that there is evidence gained from an ISP, or search engine, which no longer exists on the particular computer. As to the latter, the files may have just been in the browser cache, which disappears over time.

It’s a slight peculiarity that ‘making a copy’ also includes displaying an image on screen, even though the subject may not have deliberately made a copy to disk (there is a temporary cache file, but this is not what the ‘copy’ refers to). This is in contrast to IP law where a temporary copy to screen is not infringing.

(0)(0)

Steve

Yes, that’s what I thought it would be.. circusmtantial evidence if linking searches on a different date to files that once existed on your hard drive that also have different dates on to the searching

cos they recover deleted files or find traces of files in thumbnail images, and then seem to say well there’s suggestive searches in a browser between september 9th and september 20th, but these recovered files have january and march dates on them and file names arent clear…

you would think that if the files didnt pertain to the search they would need more evidence, but according to some legal experts, this isnt the case.. apparetnly searches on any date, no matter if completely unrelated, will get you convicted for deleted files that were unknown to you

if say you dont deliberately download any images but you had them on your computer in the past, but recently did some searching that look bad, but you didnt download anything. .. according to experts, this would be enough for a jury to say hey he mustve done it back then deliberately cos look at what he has been searching for recently…

total utter circumstantial evidence

(0)(1)

Anonymous

These questions seem to be coming from someone very worried about things!

Take it from me, a practitioner, that a deleted image can still an image that is “possessed”, as it can sometimes be recovered.

Furthermore, even if it can’t be, possession at some point can be proved e.g. through evidence from the ISP that it has been downloaded, then the Crown still have a case.

(3)(0)

Steve

it has to be a knowing as well as a deliberate act, so whether possession can be proven, it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t deliberate, cos case will be thrown out on lack of evidence of deliberate act

now what I’m trying to understand is how does teh jury decide guilt beyond reasonable doubt when the prosecutions evidence they have that comes close to evidence of a deliberate act are searches that aren’t directly related to the files recovered

(0)(0)

Steve

i meant to say knowing/deliberate act as well as possession/control.

i’ll flesh out what i mean:

how can they say recovered file ‘xx.jpg’ (dated 1st jan 2015) had anything to do with suggestive search ‘little girl naked’ (dated september 2015)?

the logic here is: you searched at some point recently, therefore you’re guilty of every single indecent image that exised since you had a computer back in 1999

does this very cirmcustantial evidence seriously get people convicted in court?

Anonymous

It’s all just evidence that forms a picture of offending, isn’t it?

It doesn’t seem relevant to me whether an image is related to a search on a different date. The image is proof of one thing, the search is proof of another. Taken together they indicate a pattern which makes defence of possession/making a copy of the image more difficult, and prosecution easier.

Legalia

Since Porter and Rowe most CPS areas are not prosecuting at all for The Possession offence when the file has been deleted, preferring the making offence. By the way in the case which started this thread contrary to press reports he was not convicted of any possession counts they were all making.

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Anonymous

As above ‘making a copy’ is achieved by display on screen, there doesn’t need to be a file that is accessible by the defendant (although technically there probably always is). So in that sense it is probably easier to prove ‘making’ rather than ‘possession’.

Martin

How do they even prove you viewed any of the files they charge you with making a copy of if these files are video and picture files in deleted space?

Anonymous

ISP records, records on the computer that you cannot tamper with, logs on the server fron which the file was downloaded. There are cases where law enforcement have seized control of servers, and let them run for some time to gather evidence – this helps identify the user.

Genius

The idea that records on a computer can’t be tampered with is a myth. I’m an expert forensic analyst and it’s very possible for a user to delete records. ISP records can only show websites visited. They can’t show downloaded file data, especially if it’s encrypted. Connection logs to files on a server aren’t conclusive evidence of a deliberate act. It’s why the cavemen, cough, I mean the Police, have to come and seize hardware. The Police’s brain cells are probably in the single digits.

Anonymous

Mr Genius, I’ve been mesing around with internet servers since the early 90s, and have worked in computer support. I know what the score is. The point is, however, that all of these things leave traces, and putting the traces together shows a pattern. You must understand that.

it’s like back in the days when people didn’t understand that they could be tracked by the position of their mobile phones. Police cases have been built on that information. Now they should know that. They should also know that their internet use can be tracked through third party data, at least some of it.

Marstaz

All traces that exist physically on disk can be erased immediately if you know what you are doing.

It’s why some people have said to the Police during interview after forensic analysis, “I thought you were going to find thousands”. They only found a hundred or so, because over time, a lot of these traces do get wiped.

Also, it is possible to destroy images on a hard drive without destroying the whole hard drive, so this bullshit the Police and the prosecution do with total destruction orders needs stopping. These people should have their property returned with only images wiped. Takes far less effort to wipe images than destroy a whole hard drive.

Law Student

If searches are bad character evidence, has any defendent successfully managed to make it inadmissable in court? I don’t think it would be fair to have a jury get misled into believing the searches definitely resulted in the ‘making’ of images when the time of the images has a big gap between them and searching activity? Or would such an application to get it blocked from being admitted fail?

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Anonymous

Oh, I just realised, Legalia is actually Mr Small Cock.

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Legalia

What does that mean?

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Anonymous

Aren’t you Myerscough?

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Legalia

No, although I have met him years ago. That’s why I’m interested.

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A real criminal practitioner

Steve, yes it does get people convicted, because the search is evidence of mens rea.

A jury will not have difficulty finding beyond a reasonable doubt that they knowingly possessed an image on day X because they searched for similar material on day Y.

Bad character, perhaps, but likely to be held admissible under CJA s.101(1)(c) and (d). Possibly also (f) if D’s contention is that he had no interest in such material.

No slipping off the hook on technicalities here.

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Legalia

This is correct. Whether it is always right forprosecutors to do this is another matter,
when the police can be very creative in what constitutes a search actually done by the defendant.

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Anonymous

How can they be creative? Either the search was completed or it was not, and either they can prove that, or not!? There are the obvious corrolories for the defence – if the police cannot prove it then it did not happen…

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Stew

Police can be creative with searches by claiming a search for ‘girl’ is a search for underage, or ‘teen’ is a search for underage, therefore mens rea is proven, therefore any illegal images recovered must’ve been deliberate. This is clearly twisting a persons intent to fit their agenda of getting another conviction. It’s possible someone may have used a known indecent image search term just to find out what it meant, such as ‘pthc’. Police would twist this into searching for images.

They should have to show what websites were opened up or download lists showing indecent images.

I’m aware of mens rea and I don’t think it’s reasonable to use this to convict because of my above points.

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Anonymous

No one will be convicted on that alone. And there may be reasonable explanations for the search. These are only pieces of evidence, they are not proof. There’s nothing ‘creative’ about it, it is just one point of view. It’s easy enough to counter a single piece of evidence like that, the problem is that there are usually hundreds of pieces of evidence pointing in the same direction.

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McFly

What would the prosecution do then if the defense points out that these search engines don’t provide child pornography from direct searches so it’s unlikely any recovered images came about from browser searches recovered?

I presume prosecution will state that the search terms look very suggestive even though we have no website evidence or download list evidence, so he must’ve created deliberately the files we recovered from deleted space.

There’s circumstantial evidence, but this is circumstantial evidence that looks like a big block of cartoon cheese with giant gaping holes in it.

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Anonymous

Isn’t it irrelevant, if they have recovered images? Where did the images come from?

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Marstaz

Not necessarily the searches on a different date. What if these images recovered are deleted images with unclear filenames? Who is to say that the defendent didn’t even see these images, or was sent them unsolicited or accidentally downloaded in the past, and that the suspicious searching later on was completely unrelated to those images?

Is it a case of 1+3 = 6?

Legalia

They are creative by selection and by suggesting to the Jury that that search must be for something suspect. Clearly if the search term is obviously for indecent material then you are right.

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Anonymous

As above, this is probably one piece out of dozens, or hundreds. If it is just an innocent coincidence, then the defendant will be able to show that.

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Anonymous

And why, morally or legally, would it not be “right” for prosecutors to do this?

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Legalia

Presumably you agree that fabricating evidence is just not right? Actually to do a search yourself to see what a defendant could have done is tantamount to fabrication in fact it is fabrication.

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Anonymous

It is not fabrication of evidence, it is inferrence of mens rea.

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ED209

mens rea states that if a term is likely to create an indecent image regardless of intentions of the user, then the user is guilty of making offenses,,,, mens rea is just the laws way of prosecuting accidental downloading by using reckless searching evidence against defendent..

is mens rea evidence admissable in court when the search engine is heavily filtered to prevent from direct searches any links to indecent images and when no evidence of websites opened up (not including popups) show any indecent images,,, this can be demonstrated in court by showing a search using that term and a list of websites that are brought up.

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Stew

How would the jury determine that the intentions of the accused weren’t just to search what a word or term meant, or to bring up a wikepedia page, or adultporn? Mens rea seems blind to this.

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Anonymous

The defendant can state this and attempt to prove it. If the evidence supports them then it will be difficult for the prosecution to prove their case on that evidence.

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Steve

There must be a way to create doubt for the Jury when the Police stoop low and start to use things typed in to yahoo to create mens rea evidence, simply by looking at the fact that Yahoo doesn’t make available any indecent image by direct searches

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Anonymous

Of course, that is the defence’s job, to create doubt about the oposition’s case.

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Law Student

“A real criminal practitioner
Sep 19 2017 8:35pm

Steve, yes it does get people convicted, because the search is evidence of mens rea.

A jury will not have difficulty finding beyond a reasonable doubt that they knowingly possessed an image on day X because they searched for similar material on day Y.

Bad character, perhaps, but likely to be held admissible under CJA s.101(1)(c) and (d). Possibly also (f) if D’s contention is that he had no interest in such material.

No slipping off the hook on technicalities here.”

My reply:
(c) ‘important explanatory evidence? admissable even after Defendent has pointed out that images recovered have a totally different date to search activity, and claims searching has nothing to do with the images the Police recovered?
(d) relevent to the case? If application is made to block the submission of this bad character evidence on the basis that the searching isn’t directly related to the images recovered, so it would make proceedings unfair as it would mislead the jury? admissable?
(f) denial of interest? admissable even after Defendent has pointed out the search engine doesnt provide links to indecent images due to filtering, and that he was looking for regular material, despite the way the searches look to others?

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Anonymous

An idea has occurred to me that over time police forces have come to know which web pages will spring up in response to particular searches.
I do not understand why in 2015 there are still websites available rather than blocked from on high. Why in 2015 or 2017 is it still possible for a search engine to allow “enter” to be actioned when “naked little girl” is in the search engine…..1. The police need to dr

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Anonymous

..aw down tax payer resourced to buy the IT to feed pension funds 2. The likes of Mr Myerscough do not use Google or Yahoo, they have special search engines.

I am not going to risk seeing if Google would let me “press fire” with naked little girl in the search engine. Christ. That would be a nightmare !

But if a person can, that seems stupid to me. I still remember that religion that said ” lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil.”

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Matt

would google or yahoo bring up indecent images if you typed that in and pressed enter?

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Malcum

that’s the point, I don’t think tis possible to bring up indecent images with direct searching.. the only way to do it in standard browsers is to lurk around in chatrooms or enter a direct URL that you got handed to you in a Skype conversation

So where does mens rea fit into this now that these aggresssive chld porn filters are in place on standard search engines?

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Anonymous

Because the uninitiated have to start somewhere. They use normal search engines to find the cat rooms, which in turn gives tham access to like-minded people and the underground network. Or, they may just be people without a clue.

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Malcum

… but the police are arresting people that are clearly sophisticated with cleaning software. Then claiming theyy searched in yahoo… why woud they do direct searches in yahoo? why does prosecution knowing it brings nothing up then claim mens rea fulfillment…. it seems to get convictions…… searching for chatrooms wouldnt bring up any indecent image and these would be normal search terms in the browser……. they are saying that a search for teen is a search for child porn… and the accused falls to pieces and pleads guilty..

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Anonymous

There’s no point in searching for generic chat rooms, you are going to have to search for chat rooms with a particular theme – thus you use the suspicious search terms.

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Marstaz

“teen chat room” would be suspicious to the Police, when could be completely innocent intentions behind it looking for 18 to 19 year olds.

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Legalia

As for extradition law the trial judge in this case strictly speaking is correct. If this Fugitive returns to Britain voluntarily then it could be argued that the European arrest warrant legislation does not apply and the time spent fighting the warrant should not count against sentence. However if a new European arrest warrant is issued and is successful then it appears he has a strong case for his almost 2 years to count. Perhaps the trial judge had this in mind when she sentenced him to 42 weeks which is exactly, what with automatic 50% on licence out of prison, the same as the period served fighting the extradition in custody in Ireland. This case and the discussion here presents problems and provokes questions on the whole basis of criminal law in this area, that is, indecent images of children. Rules of evidence in computer based offences, the meaning of intent or knowledge, the proportionality of the response to such crimes, pursuing a noble cause by any means possibly bordering on illegality or worse to express a moral repugnance. I see from the Internet that in this case one of the defendant’s gripes was that a key prosecution witness in fact the interviewing officer did not turn up for trial.
Nowthat was dealt with by the trial judge you may say. However I cannot see for example in a contact sexual crime the accuser being absent and the prosecution presenting someone to speak for the missing witness. NowI’m not saying that this defendant is right
It’s just that we do not know whether he is right or not. Too many people here are happy to pursue the noble cause corruption approach which allows anything to be done to pursue a clear undeniable problem and concern, that is the abuse of children. Basically comments here are divided between those who wish to apply basic legal tenets and those who wish in essence to bash paedophiles. Comments such as “he deserves everything he’s got” are political and personal and although they can be freely made they have no place in solving legal problems. It works both ways. It is futile for the defendant in this case to say all the world is against him and that it’s all unfair. He needs of course evidence law and authority to succeed.
However passionate his protestations he will not get very far unless he has the legal back up. Apparently the noble cause people don’t seem to need that. For them it doesn’t matter how a conviction is achieved, fair means or foul, the noble cause which everyone agrees with, has been vindicated. So much of the comment here is simply based on gut feeling.

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Anonymous

You’ve not condemned child abusers or those who look at child porn.

Open question: do you have an interest in such material?

I’m curious to know why you are so keen to defend this sort of person.

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Legalia

You have given a perfect example of what I am saying. Anyone who dares asks questions is somehow defending abuse! I have said above that abuse is undeniably wrong. As I say you perfectly illustrate what the problem is. There is also a touch of conspiracy theory in what you say = your argument being that whatever is said must be coming from them, the evil ones, he must be supporting the abusers.

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Legalia

I do not defend anyone who has broken the law in this area unless there are clear legal problems to resolve. I am not defending what they do just saying they might and I stress might not have done the crime, and of course not in every case. Surely in every area of law you must have wondered whethet police and
Prosecution actions are sometimes dubious. Or are you saying everything is hunky dory so long as we get a conviction?

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McFly

The whole indecent images thing is a farce – the whole thing is dubious… the people that are being dragged to court all are first time offenders because they’re not crimianls.

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Anonymous

Yes they are.

They perpetuate the abuse of children and deserve to be dealt with accordingly.

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Ben

How do they perpetuate if they are not distributing and the child is not known to them? You might as well prosecute people for having a keen interest in Nazi concentration camps and looking at pictures of atrocities. After all doesn’t such behaviour involve looking at abuse, isn’t there also the possibility that the person looking has dangerous ideas. And doesn’t publishing these atrocity images somehow make it acceptable to do such things. But surely merely looking is a different thing. This does not mean to say that it is acceptable to download and look at indecent material. We just can’t make up reasons why we make it illegal. It would be sufficient to say that it is just wrong a moral outrage, and that is sufficient in my view, without pseudo social science theories of what this material can or cannot do. With drink driving offences we need not prove that the defendant was incompetent when over the limit. Serious medical research has shown that people do not react so well when over the limit they are likely to be less responsive. In indecent image cases we do not have proof that viewing on its own does anything. As I say it’s probably more honest to say we just don’t like people looking at this and they shouldn’t and leave it at that rather than making up reasons.

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Paedo Hunter

Bollocks as usual.

There are not currently (to my knowledge) Nazi concentration camps in existence, providing images of abuse and torture, fuelled by a market for the same.

If people didn’t view the images, there would be no reason for children to be abused so the images could be made.

Stop trying to justify it to yourself.

If you look at the pics you’re fuelling the market so more kids will be abused.

This is not a victimless crime, no matter how you try to justify it to yourself.

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Legalia

No concentration camps? No atrocities in the world today? And those who make and distribute indecent images would abuse anyway, they are getting a kick out of showing off,not looking for a market. Out of logic your comments do not make sense and are based on the fallacy that people would not abuse if they could not post images online. I agree it is morally wrong the abuse and looking at it. But to say that looking creates abuse is simply not proved. It is very different when a person takes images with the Express intent to sell them. Then you are right. The children have been abused to make money for the taker. without his setting it all up the abuse would not have taken place. There you have a point. No I do not agree that this is a victimless crime. The victims have been abused by the taker and the distributor directly. My point was that looking at the aftermath of this abuse is not the same. And I repeat I do not think it is right or excusable to look, I’m not trying to justify anything, simply trying to correct what I believe may be a myth that people only produce this material because there are people willing to look at it. Which goes back to my concentration camp analogy. Hitler did not practice genocide because he knew that people would like the pictures – that wasn’t his reason for doing it. And why do you assume that I am trying to justify actions and more offensive to me than that you seem to be suggesting that I myself I’m interested in this material. I find that very offensive. Which goes back to my previous argument that anyone who does have a discussion about this area must be excusing his actions are those of abusers. For that you deserve no respect. And to return to the Nazi analogy, also a technique of course used by dictators through the ages, you are using the argument is that if you are not for me on my terms you must be an enemy and supporters of Evil.

Bobby

Where do you get this “speak” from? The name Paedo HUnter says it all and deserved of psychological investigation as any paedophile.
Tell us what excitement you get from paedo hunting, no you probably won’t want to.
Or more likely you are totally oblivious to the fact that you appear ridiculous by adopting that name. Who appointed you to this special role? Do you play War games? Do you find it difficult to hold down a relationship? All these questions need to be asked by a therapist. Seriously though what kind of person is this and how worrying is that he is not alone and apparently is listened to.

Lenny

the name paedo hunter says it all. Wonder if he has a carpenters belt from B&Q with fake grenades and guns. or perhaps he lives in his shed like they do in America surviving on grubs and indeed on Prejudice.

Genius

This is what I can’t understand. “You are contributing to a market”, the Judge says to all that are done for ‘making’ indecent images, but what market is a viewer (a non-distributor) contributing to? Is his PC automatically acting a server for anonymous downloaders or something the moment a file comes down to his personal files folders? Last I knew about the concept of file sharing, is that it has to be shared by you using share programs, i order to contribute anything.

The only ones fueling a market are the Police and the legal system. They’re fueling the market for paedophile vigilantes who already have blood on their hands, and the Tabloid media.

They’re going one step further than just fueling a market. They are directly hurting the children of the families of the accused.

The Police need to question themselves and think hard about how they are able to sleep at night after having any involvement in this bullsh7t. The social consequences are life destroying, yet they expect you to just get on with your life as though you’ve just been caught speeding. They truly believe you can just carry on as normal afterwards after feeding you to the courts.

Donkeys.

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Anonymous

Are you honestly saying that people should not be prosecuted for viewing child pornography/abuse?

Robocop

These cases should not be prosecuted if one or all of them are true:

i) making offenses where images are deleted
ii) possession of very few number of images regardless of category of unknown children to suspect
iii) possession of a lot of images that are not catagorized or clearly labelled and without evidence of any intent, regardless of category
IV) possession of CAT C images which are catagorized and deliberately stored.
V) possession of all category of images where activity was over a very short period of time, where theres evidence clear interest in adult pornography, and contrasted with amount of adult pornography possessed to create a picture of suspect not being a threat.

These cases should be prosecuted:

i) possession and catagorizing of CAT A AND B images in folders, where volume of images is high or quantity is just as much as adult material, and activity has been over long period of time, and from all evidence has worrying clear sexual interest in children; children unknown to suspect
ii) possession of any images of children known to suspect
iii) distribution of images
iv) production of images

The Law as it is, is lashing out wildly at everyone and is behaving like an irate moron.

Anonymous

If the person is innocent they can prove it, or call into doubt the evidence presented. I have sympathy for people caught in this trap, it’s a bit Kafkaesque, but that’s the nature of law.

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Genius

If the nature of law is to convict even when there’s the slightest doubt, then the law’s nature is neck deep wading in shit, drinking it and spewing out more shit

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Anonymous

‘Beyond reasonable doubt’ – that’s what the law is supposed to be.

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Marstaz

There was a case of a DAD being found guilty of images in his possession which he said could’ve been anyone in the house that lived with him that has downloaded them. There were about 10 family members. All family members were interviewed and denied it. 2 out of the 12 Jurers found him not guilty beyond reasonable doubt, the rest found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. There IS reasonable doubt beacuse they can’t say for sure any of them were not lying, yet he got convicted anyway. How is this a reasonable conviction?

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Ben

An interesting point is that the Suffolk Constabulary official press release from Which the article above is clearly drawn is full of inaccuracies. As it happens it appears they are to the advantage of the defendant. Does this really matter? After all this is just a press release. But being In a sense official, certainly first-hand, there is a danger that in a foreign Court the defendant could use this to argue that Suffolk Constabulary don’t know what they are doing and we mustn’t trust anything they say. That may seem far-fetched but extradition warrant hearings are done remotely and without fullknowledge of another countries legal systems. Seeing a massive crest and the undoubted source of this press release it is quite possible that a foreign Court would accept this as evidence. For example here we have been confused by the fact that an Irish Court was said to have declared that all the sentence served fighting the extradition was illegal. This is what Suffolk Constabulary said in that press release. And aren’t the inaccuracies of which there are many symptomatic of the lackadaisical attitude in these cases. Can you imagine a police force issuing a press release mistakenly saying instead of Murder it was manslaughter. Again it doesn’t seem to matter about the actual facts. The danger is as I say that search inaccuracy could help a fugitive.

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Ben

that should read such not search

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Genius

The guy in this article is good. He knew how to give the prosecution the middle finger and he did just that. His time served in Ireland, although overall he may as well have served it legitimately after being sentenced, it’s a matter of principle. He didn’t give the bastids over here the satisfaction of locking him up. Good for him!

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Legalia

This comment is not as provocative as it first appears. By all accounts the defendant here had some serious points to make about fair trial, some to do with the discussion here. European arrest warrant legislation may be designed quicker but it also in essence allows an individual to challenge extradition even between apparently civilised European countries that on the face of it do everything properly. So put bluntly the European arrest warrant legislation which is domestic law at least for the moment gives a right to flee and be successful! In this case the defendant had the misfortune for him to be caught in Ireland which bends over backwards and to honour its special relationship with the United Kingdom. Perhaps if he had reached another country.. but my whole point is this: an individual cannot be criticised for exercising his legal rights, in this case to resist an extradition warrant. It could be that that resistance is futile, the argument weak are otherwise not likely to succeed, but to say he’s wrong for trying is worrying. One might as well say we should have no criminal appeals because he’s guilty and that’s it. That’s what criticising this defendant’s actions in essence is about. Basically he’s a sex offender and he shouldn’t even try to put things right.

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Legalia

A bit of a blip in my message above it should read that the European arrest warrant was designed first and foremost to make extradition quicker

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Michael H

Well said! For all we know the chap here may have had a real good reason for fighting the system.

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Legalia

When it comes to indecent images of children it would appear from many of the comments here that logic, reason and legal principles are willingly discarded ( or that’s the gist) because of the nature of the offence. I am no advocate for the American legal system but I point out “operation ore.” Is that international police operation many thousands of people were investigated and arrested. In the United States a country not known for its leniency in these crimes only a handful of convictions resulted a tiny percentage. Yet in the United Kingdom many were convicted a very high percentage. The American defendants used the strict rules of evidence underpinned by the American Constitution. Now, you could argue that that offends Justice because the guilty may have walked free in the States. But for me it illustrates that whatever the nature of the Crime there must be checks and balances on what the police can do. What seems to be happening here on this board is that we are being urged to ignore basic principles of Justice. It’s even worse than that as anyone who dares to suggest there may be problems is regarded as a supporter of those who abuse. The Debate then turns from the law to a political debate, if debate is the correct word to be used in.the outpourings of these hang them and flog them people. Some years ago I was burgled in my house. My family and I felt used; I cannot imagine what it must be like to be sexually abused but my burglary give me a little idea, just a little. Know if the burglar who was eventually caught, which he was,managed somehow to evade prosecution or conviction through what the layman terms is a technicality, then I’m honest enough to say that I would be aggrieved. I would probably call it morally wrong that he has succeeded. But however much I might disagree with the decision like it or not I must accept grudgingly that there must be rules which the police must follow, or otherwise I and my family might be next if anything goes! We simply cannot have different basic rules for different crimes unless legislators are honest enough to put it into law that there is a difference.

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CrimBob

What was the technicality they got off under?

Due to the CrimPR, that’s quite difficult nowadays.

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Legalia

No sorry, I worded it badly. I was being hypothetical. If my burglar had… in fact he didn’t. for all the changes in the law which you quite rightly point out there are of course still basic rules of evidence and section 78 applications which go either way. The public and perhaps I was using their concept seem to think that winning on exclusion of evidence is a technicality. from experience, admissibility of evidence an indecent image cases seems to be far less stringent than in other cases. Perhaps this is because a forensic police team can bamboozle a non specialist judge. I just give one example. Contaminated DNA or the likelihood that it is contaminated can still scupper a prosecution. however in indecent image cases I have seen material left unattended dealt with by a number of unknown hands and clearly altered sometimes by clumsiness other times more sinister forces at play or at least perhaps, with a judge basically concluding that there is still evidence of something we can still put it to the jury. As I say in the DNA case he may not proceed at all even with other evidence.

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Law Student

searching as bad character evidence – possible to block it from being admitted in court by prosecution? what circumstances would be required?

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Anonymous

So now he just gets prosecuted for absconding – top marks!

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Legalia

What? He has served time. The extra for
absconding, has to come from somewhere, for example being illegally at large.

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Ven

One problem with the making offence is the failure formally to revise the law with the advent of personal computers. The 1978 act has making as one of its offences. The word making was carefully chosen. At the time and offender needed at very least a Photographic darkroom, and the mischief of the act was designed to prevent the production of magazines after a highly publicized press and political campaign.
Therefore the offender would need photographic plates a printing press and so on. The term making concerned a clear and concerted effort physically to produce material. That’s what the concerns were at the time.

With the advent of personal computers the courts have contrived to understand making as a far wider concept, while still maintaining correctly that the mischief is the proliferation of such material. It is difficult to see from the science alone that when a person views an image, bringing an image onto his screen, albeit only for an instant, that he proliferates. Yet as the law stands he makes that image.

Just because a criminal act is easier today does not make it less culpable. But it is my view that the 1978 act was designed to prevent conscious production of permanent and distributable material, not,whether we like it or not simply viewing. Until the advent of computers a person in essence could read if that’s the right word his magazine to his Hearts content without Fear of prosecution for making. The prosecution could have contrived to say that an image is formed on his retina, and hence made,but this was regarded as ridiculous and stretching the interpretation of the word making too far. However with the advent of personal computers the courts were willing to stretch the interpretation just as far if not more, sometimes against the computer science. For example if an image is moved within a computer it does not actually create a new image in a new place within that computer, merely the directory changes. However as far as I can see from published decisions that is classed as making a new image. And if one cut and pastes, an image is proliferated even though the original is almost instantly deleted. My point here is that proliferation is the wrong support for the defendant’s actions being criminal, because he does not scientifically proliferate or at least not in the sense envisaged by the 1978 act.

Of course what is really happening is that we wish to punish those who view such material and perhaps for good reason. But the result of that desire has been to force the law into something which it was not designed to do. Other countries have solved this problem by making it an offence to access such material, whilst maintaining legislation regarding production, as a separate more serious offence based very much on the UK’s original concept of conscious almost industrial production.

As it stands the word making is regarded by the Press, the public and by juries as involving such deliberate production ,from the start, of indecent material of children, complete with photographic studio and all. And that is certainly the atmosphere the police and others wish to create. The solution in my view is to have a law concerned with access, this addressing the true mischief. Surely it is enough of a wrong to view this material with notions of humiliation of the child. And there is nothing wrong with simply declaring a moral outrage.

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Bobby

I know, a pervert with a camcorder with captive children is what ‘making’ looks like to the public, and it’s why the tabloids love using the legal jargon.

Our Police: “Look over here, we’ve caught another pedophile. Yes we have. Yes we have. If we say this enough to you, you will believe it.” 40,000 articles later… “There’s lots of pedophiles, yes, lots”…. what a farce.

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