July 2004

Disgraced child porn judge walks free

Former Crown Court judge David Selwood, of Winchester who admitted a string of child pornography offences, has been given a 12 month rehabilitation order today at London’s Bow Street Magistrates’ Court.

The 70-year-old, who stepped down as resident judge of Portsmouth Crown Court earlier this month, had previously pleaded guilty last month to 12 counts of making and one count of possessing indecent photos of a child in March and April this year.

Selwood, wearing a pin-striped suit, listened intently throughout the hearing at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London today.

He was charged after police found 75 images of naked and semi-naked boys aged between eight and 14 on his laptop computer.

Senior District Judge Timothy Workman told the disgraced judge he would be given a 12-month community rehabilitation order but was not adding a condition to attend a sex offenders’ programme as he believed that the necessary advice and guidance could best be provided through regular contact with a probation officer.

He also ordered forfeiture of the computer, photographs and made an order him to pay £55 costs.

The court had heard that the case had a “devastating and humiliating” effect on the judge and his family.

Exploitation of children

Mr Workman told the court: “He is entitled to credit for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity and for his co-operation throughout the police investigation. The commission of these offences and the convictions now recorded are undoubtedly a personal tragedy to him and his family.

“Nevertheless, the courts look gravely on this type of offence because it involves the exploitation and abuse of children, and the court’s first concern must be to them.”

He added the nature of the material had been agreed by himself, the prosecution and the defence to fall within the least serious category.

He said by the standards of many of these cases, the 75 images the former judge held was not a “substantial” number but they had, however, been downloaded on a number of occasions over six weeks.

Mr Workman considered the number of photographs “not insignificant” but was satisfied the material Selwood downloaded was solely for his own use.

Earlier in 2004, Selwood, of Winchester, Hants, gave a conditional discharge to a world authority on child abuse who had pleaded guilty to downloading child porn.

He described Professor Christopher Bagley, of Sutton, Surrey, as “naive” for accessing the indecent images without seeking legal advice.

Selwood was charged after police found 75 images of naked and semi-naked boys aged eight to 14 on his laptop.