April 2011

Anger: Man guilty of possessing child pornography escapes jail

A CHILDREN’s charity has hit out after a Portland man found guilty of possessing images of child pornography escaped jail.

James Mark Philpot searched the internet for bondage images involving children and pictures of children tied up, a court heard.

Philpot, 27, of Weston Street, was handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting 23 charges of child porn.

But the charity Kidscape questioned whether the punishment fitted the crime.

Director Claude Knights said that it was doubtful whether a suspended sentence was appropriate.

Prosecutor Heather Shimmen told Dorchester Crown Court that the images were discovered on the defendant’s computer by his former wife who reported the matter to the police.

The court heard how Philpot made 151 indecent images of children between March 1 and March 18, 2009, including seven movies.

Miss Shimmen said the images were graded from level one to level five, with five being the most serious.

She said there were 104 level one photos, seven grade two, 20 level three, eight level four and 12 grade five.

Mrs Shimmen added: “Whilst conducting an examination of the computer there was a search of terms used in general which included ‘kids bondage pics’, ‘kids tied up’ and ‘kids pre-teen’.”

In mitigation Francisca Da Costa said the majority of the images were level one and her client only intended to download the images.

She said: “Shortly after his marriage, his wife began to work night shifts and Mr Philpot was working days.

“They saw each other on a very infrequent basis and he became lonely at night and lonely in their marriage.

“What began as looking at women who could be classed as adults, that progressively got out of hand.

“He was curious and then began looking at images of younger girls chiefly to see what their bodies looked like.

“Unfortunately, this curiosity continued.”

Judge Roger Jarvis said to Philpot: “I am bewildered as to what it is that you and others find by way of enjoyment when looking at these sorts of images.

“I feel a deep sense of sorrow for these young children whose lives have been ruined.

“It’s plain from the report that you are the sort of person who can be assisted by a sex offenders programme.

“If there had been any more level four or level five offences I would have sent you into prison.”

Judge Jarvis imposed a 52-week prison sentenced suspended for two years and a community supervision order for two years where Philpot will be required to complete a sex offenders programme.

He is also prohibited from engaging in activity with or living with a person under the age of 18 and he has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.