September 2015

Geologist convicted of taking indecent images of children avoids prison

kent

A geologist who took ‘wholly inappropriate’ photos of a young girl splashing in the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park has avoided jail.

Kent Adamson, 45, used a long-lens camera to take pictures of children, zooming in on one girl’s torso, as they played in the water on August 19, 2013.

But a concerned member of the public spotted the American in the Royal Park and alerted the police.

A search of his memory card revealed nine photos of a pre-pubescent girl in a red polka-dot swimming costume including several showing a close-up of her body with no head or feet.

A jury of four men and eight women found Adamson, of Watlington Street, Reading, guilty of taking indecent images after an hour and a half of deliberation at Southwark Crown Court on July 15 this year.

Judge Deborah Taylor said: “On the relevant date at the Diana Memorial Fountain you took photographs of children who were playing near the fountain and because it was a hot day were dressed in swimming costumes.

Adamson insisted pictures were “street photography”

“Nine of the images focus on the torso of this child between the thigh and the chest, some of which were close ups.”

Adamson, who denied taking indecent images of children, had insisted the pictures taken on his digital SLR camera were ‘street photography’.

But a pre-sentence report found he was trying to ‘minimise’ his culpability.

“These images were wholly inappropriate and taken without the consent or knowledge of those children or their parents and any parent would be horrified at the taking of such images of their child,’ said Judge Taylor.

Adamson was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months, ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service and to pay £2,800 in costs.

Judge: “any parent would be horrified”

He was also made the subject of a five-year sexual harm prevention order that restricts his contact with girls under 16 years old.

The American citizen, who has been in this country for seven years, indicated he intends to return to the United States after his sentence is served.

Jurors were not made aware that Adamson also faced a charge of possessing indecent images of children relating to a collection of images that had been deleted from his computer.

Adamson will not face trial for the pictures which were graded at Level C, the least serious category, after prosecutors announced it would not be in the public interest to pursue the charge.

Adamson further denied a charge of possessing indecent images of children that has been left to lie on file.

July 2015

Reading geologist convicted of taking indecent images of children

A Reading geologist who photographed a young girl splashing in the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park has been found guilty of taking indecent images.

Kent Adamson, 45, used a long-lens camera to take pictures of children as they played in the water on August 19, 2013.

A concerned member of the public spotted him in the Royal Park and alerted the police.

A search of his memory card revealed nine photos of a pre-pubescent girl in a swimming costume.

Adamson, who denied taking indecent images of children, had insisted the pictures taken on his digital SLR camera were ‘street photography’.

But a jury of four men and eight women found Adamson guilty of taking indecent images after an hour and a half of deliberation at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday, July 15.

Jurors were not made aware that Adamson also faced a charge of possessing indecent images of children relating to a collection of images that had been deleted from his computer.

Adamson will not face trial for the pictures which were graded at level C, the least serious category, after prosecutors announced it would not be in the public interest to pursue the charge.

Adjourning sentence until Friday, September 4, Judge Deborah Taylor said: “It does not in my view at present cross the custody threshold.”

Adamson, of Watlington Street, central Reading, told jurors during the trial he had visited the park innocently to take photographs.

He said: “I was looking for quality of life sort of pictures and it is a warm summer day, I had taken some food to go and do a walk and have a picnic as well.

“I shot the birds just outside the Diana memorial fountain and I stopped there to sit down and I thought that the summer scene sort of thing would be a nice topic for street photography.”

Adamson protested he was interested in colour contrast, capturing scenes of a little boy playing with a leaf and the moving water droplets.

Pointing to the pictures of the girl in the swimsuit, prosecutor Richard Merz said: “That just happened to be there because what you were trying to photograph was the water drops?”

Adamson replied: “Well, they were fast moving in the fountain, I mean the people not necessarily the water drops so on some of these I have tried to take a picture and have got someone who essentially just steps in your way.”

But later Mr Merz rubbished Adamson’s account as “nonsense”.

“The Crown’s case is this is a deliberate focusing on one person not just an accident of random photography,” he said. “It is perfectly obvious to suggest that he is deliberately taking pictures of the kind that you see in the pictures of the girl in the bathing costume.”

Adamson denied one count of taking indecent images.

He further denied a charge of possessing indecent images of children that has been left to lie on file.

Adamson was bailed ahead of sentence on Friday, September 4.