A WORCESTER man jailed for downloading more than 46,000 indecent images of children while banned from using the internet to access pornography, has been freed on appeal.
Van Sloun, aged 37, of Selbourne Road, Barbourne, was jailed for 18 months after he admitted five counts of making indecent images of children and breaching a Sexual Offences Protection Order (Sopo) at Worcester Crown Court in December last year.
But judges at London’s Court of Appeal yesterday upheld a challenge by Van Sloun against his sentence, cutting his jail term to 16 months and suspending it for two years – meaning he is now freed.
Mr Justice Wilkie said Van Sloun was handed a community order and SOPO after he was convicted of making and possessing indecent images of children in November, 2010.
The order banned him from accessing the web for anything other than work but, in September, 2011, police discovered a massive stash of indecent photographs on Van Sloun’s laptop and a memory stick
Van Sloun, who was previously handed a one-month suspended sentence for possessing images of children in Holland, admitted breaching his web ban and pleaded guilty to all the counts at the Crown Court, the judge added.
On appeal, Van Sloun’s lawyers argued the sentencing judge failed to give him enough credit for his guilty pleas and ignored recommendations for a suspended sentence in a pre-sentence report.
Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting with Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Mr Justice Leggatt, upheld the appeal, cutting the term by two months and suspending it for two years.
He concluded: “The sentencing judge erred as a matter of principle in failing to consider the material before him, the impact of the passage of time between the commission of these offences, and the date upon which the sentence was to be imposed.
“Van Sloun had achieved great progress in addressing his problems, in formulating and applying behavioural strategies to avoid further offending during that period of time.”
The appeal judge also imposed a supervision requirement and ordered Van Sloun to complete an internet sexual offending treatment programme. The 10-year SOPO issued against him in 2010 remains in place.