Feb 2006

Man had 1,700 child porn images

A 57-year-old man who was caught by police with more than 1,700 child porn images at his home has been jailed for nine months.

Police discovered the pictures on DVDs among adult pornography in a locked bedroom cupboard.

Denying that he found the images sexually attractive, Barry De Lobel claimed the DVDs had been given to him.

But a judge at Maidstone Crown Court told him: “There has been no real explanation as to why these discs were not destroyed by you, if you had no interest in them.

“I believe you kept them because you did have interest in them. It was an affront to common sense to say otherwise.”

The court heard that officers went to De Lobel’ home in Brownelow Copse, Walderslade, Chatham, on September 7 last year with a search warrant.

Amelia Fox, prosecuting, said the DVDs were found to contain 1,595 images at level one, 148 at level two and three at level three. The most serious level is five.

De Lobel, who works from home for a Canadian company, had told police that they would only find adult porn.

Asked why his credit card details had been given to a child porn site in 1999, he claimed they had been used illegally around that time and it must have related to that.

Mark Love, defending, pointed out that De Lobel, who admitted possessing indecent images of children, was not charged with downloading the material.

But, said Judge Andrew Patience, QC: “He kept it in a cupboard with adult pornography and didn’t get rid of it. Come on Mr Love, I didn’t come down with the last shower.”

Mr Love said De Lobel was reaching the end of his working life and had a heart condition.

“The consequences of this offence are going to be significant,” he said. “He is pilloried by society. The difficulty is he doesn’t perceive he has a problem.”

Judge Patience told De Lobel: “Every image is an image of an abused child. I am told that children in this case range from three-years-old to 13-years-old.

“It only has to be spelled out in a few simple sentences in that way for everyone to understand how grave and how wicked the production of the photographs is and how those who obtain them and take them into their possession like you are doing everything to encourage this continued abuse.

“Somewhere, as I speak, no doubt it is happening. I don’t believe you yet have full insight into what this sort of behaviour amounts to.”

He added: “In order to punish you and to deter others, I am going to pass an immediate term of imprisonment.”

De Lobel, a father, was banned from using a computer and being in the company of children without a supervising adult.