July 2015

West Bradley man sentenced for offences of making indecent images

SOME four years after downloading indecent material on the internet, a young Glastonbury man been was hauled before a judge and given a suspended prison sentence.

Twenty-year-old James Bannell, of West Bradley, pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court to 12 offences of making indecent images and was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

National anti-porn officers spotted him downloading porn from a website in 2011 and police seized his laptop in November 2013, finding almost 700 indecent photos and movies – mostly of girls between about eight and 15, said William Hunter, prosecuting.

He made full admissions and said he became interested in pornography when he was about 15. The offences carried a possible prison sentence of up to two years.

Sam Jones, defending, said that, aside from the offence, he was an impressive young man, respected in his community and who had made good since committing the offences. He set up a successful business and was “a grafter who’s worked extremely hard” and has a bright future.

“It’s a tragedy that this young man, perhaps as a result of curiosity on the internet, looking at pornography, … has been led into looking at other material as a result of which police came knocking at his door,” he added.

He said the offences were committed in 2011, his computer was seized two years later and the matter came to court in March this year, when he made full admissions.

Judge David Ticehurst told Bannell that, if he had a sister, he would realise the sort of threat and abuse “these children” are subjected to. “Just imagine the trauma and damage being inflicted on these young girls simply to satisfy the lust of someone like you,” he added.

Taking into account the offences were committed four years ago and that he had taken “positive steps to address this behaviour,” he sentenced Bannell to a community order with supervision for 18 months with an internet sex offenders programme and a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £535.