June 2013

Convicted for downloading indecent images of children

Details of Offence:

Early on 30th August, 2012, police attended the home address Victor Scott Langlands, where he lived with his wife.  A search team seized a number of electronic devices.  Four were subsequently deemed to be of interest, a Compaq computer (Count 1), a Western Digital Hard Drive (Count 2), a damaged Seagate Hard Drive (Count 3) and a Kingston USB memory stick (Count 4).  While the computer could access the internet, the other three devices were essentially used to store digital information. 

After being examined forensically it was established that he had made two hundred and sixty nine indecent images of children by downloading them, and two indecent movies.  Twenty eight of the images and one of the movies were in Levels 4 and 5 of theOliver scale. 

When interviewed that day, before the main forensic examination was complete, the defendant said that he was the main user of the Compaq computer.  He admitted looking at pornography but denied downloading any indecent images.  The forensic examination showed that the images had been downloaded via a “peer to peer” file sharing software system.  This system had been deleted from the computer prior to examination.  Despite this, references to well-known child pornography search terms were recovered, indicating that anyone downloading such material would have been in little doubt as to its likely content.  Terms referring to ages “Lolita”, “pedo”, or “childlover” need little examanation.  Less well-known examples indicating illegal content are“PTHC” (“pre-teen hard core”) and “1sm” (an online magazine specialising in nude pictures of underage girls). 

The forensic report shows that a programme called Wise Disk Cleaner had been used to wipe the memory of the devices.  The last occasion it had been used on the main computer was 26th August, 2012, four days prior to his arrest.  This programme is in no way uncommon.  While it has removed images and movie files, the names of these files and links which have been opened or played sometimes remain. 

In his second interview on 24th October, 2012, the defendant stated that there had been instances in the past where illegal images had “popped up”, and he had immediately deleted them.  While admitting that he uses P2P software to download legitimate film and some adult pornography, he denied searching for or accessing sites with illegal content. 

He could not explain why the forensic analysis showed that the listings of movie files which had recently been played included both legitimate titles alongside several titles indicating illegal content.  He later conceded that he had seen “snippets” of illegal material but had deleted it, and that he had inadvertently clicked on indecent images five or six times.  Beyond that, he denied all knowledge. 

Details of Mitigation:

Guilty pleas; previous good character; good working record.  Now estranged from family.

Previous Convictions:

None.

Conclusions:

Count 1:

18 months’ imprisonment.

Count 2:

18 months’ imprisonment, concurrent.

Count 3:

18 months’ imprisonment, concurrent.

Count 4:

18 months’ imprisonment, concurrent.

Total: 18 months’ imprisonment. 

Order sought under Article 5(1) of the Sex Offenders (Jersey) Law 2010 that a period of 5 years elapse from 12th April, 2013, before the accused is permitted to apply to no longer be subject to the notification requirements.

Restraining order under Article 10(4) with the following conditions:-

i)       That the defendant produce to a police officer forthwith on request for examination, from time to time, any computer or device which may access the internet, or any device which can store images electronically, which belongs to him or is in his possession, it being noted that such a request may be made anywhere, including by the police attending at the defendant’s place of residence.

ii)      That the defendant is prohibited from owning or having in his possession or having access to any device capable of accessing the internet unless:-

a)      It has the capacity to retain and display the history of internet use.

b)      The defendant ensures that such history is not deleted.

Forfeiture and destruction of the computers sought.

Sentence and Observations of Court:

Count 1:

12 months’ imprisonment.

Count 2:

12 months’ imprisonment, concurrent.

Count 3:

12 months’ imprisonment, concurrent.

Count 4:

12 months’ imprisonment, concurrent.

Total: 12 months’ imprisonment.

Court satisfied under Article 5(1) of the Sex Offenders (Jersey) Law 2010 that a period of 5 years elapse before the accused is permitted to be no longer subject to the notification requirements of the law. 

Conditions (i) and (ii) of the restraining order under Article 10(4) granted. 

All conditions to be for 5 years from 12th April, 2013.

Forfeiture and destruction of the computers ordered