March 2003

Child porn man escapes jail term

A man who downloaded “sickening” child porn from the internet has escaped a jail sentence.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Malcolm Champion downloaded several hundred images over a two-year period and even opened special files for some of them.

Champion, 38, of Alison Lane, Bolton Woods, pleaded guilty to nine charges of making or possessing indecent images of children and asked for nine similar offences to be taken into consideration.

He was made the subject of a three-year community rehabilitation order, with a condition that he spends a minimum of 177 hours on a sex offenders’ education programme. He will also be on the Sex Offenders’Register for five years.

After viewing some of the images and describing them as “sickening”, Judge Kerry Macgill said many people believed that such offenders should be locked up and the key thrown away.

They were entitled to that view, added the judge, but reports by a psychiatrist and a probation officer both stated that Champion did not pose a day-to-day risk to children.

He had not been involved in distributing porn and had readily agreed his willingness to co-operate in treatment for his problem.

“It is abhorrent that this kind of activity should take place and be encouraged by people such as you,” Judge Macgill told Champion.

“I believe it is appropriate that you should be treated within the community. You can consider yourself fortunate you are not going to prison, but if you do not comply, to prison you will go.”

Neil Clark, prosecuting, said the offences came to light after a man paid a friend £40 for a computer which had belonged to Champion. He repaired it and noticed several files relating to indecent images of young boys.

The police were called and Champion was arrested. He admitted to officers that he had looked at gay porn sites on the internet. Urging a non-custodial sentence, defence barrister Stephen Wood said intensive treatment on sex offender programmes did work and they did not tolerate failure.