A pervert from Sutton who downloaded depraved child pornography and chatted to other paedophiles had his potentially lifelong sentence backed by top judges yesterday (Wednesday).
Steven Vincent James (60) was caged indefinitely for public protection – which is almost identical to a life term and reserved for dangerous offenders – at Nottingham Crown Court in July 2008.
James, of Redcliffe Street, admitted 15 counts of making or distributing sickening child pornography images downloaded from the internet.
Judge Alistair McReath, sitting in London’s Appeal Court with Lord Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Silber, said James had also ‘engaged in conversations’ with fellow perverts ‘on the subject of sexually abusing very young children’.
The court was told that he had a chilling criminal record involving a conviction dating back to 2001 for indecently assaulting a child.
There was also evidence that he had prolonged ‘fantasies’ about what he would do before he molested that child, said Judge McReath.
James’ case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged his open-ended sentence, from which he will only ever be freed once he can convince the Parole Board that the danger he poses to society has passed.
Dismissing his appeal, Judge McReath said that, although his child pornography crimes did not involve contact with victims, there was an ‘adequate basis’ for a finding that James is dangerous and poses a risk of serious harm to children.
“In this case there was not only the evidence of viewing and the statement of intent, but also the evidence from his previous conviction of carrying his fantasy into reality,” said the judge.
“In these circumstances we are bound to find that the sentencing judge was fully justified in making the finding (of dangerousness) he did.”