September 2015

Formby shopkeeper walks free from court after horrific child abuse images found on his computer

jackson

A Formby shopkeeper caught with extreme child sex abuse images was spared prison.

Malcolm Jackson, 60, downloaded vile photos showing girls aged as young as two being tortured and raped.

The Formby Hardware owner initially admitted the offences to police, saying he would be “foolish” to deny responsibility.

But he later claimed it was “not in his nature” and that someone else must have used his laptop.

He pleaded not guilty and had a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, but was found guilty of 10 counts of downloading indecent images of children.

Gerald Jones, prosecuting, said there were Category A images – the most serious category – and also Category B and Category C images found

Unrepentant Jackson shook his head in the dock as the photographs were described in court.

Judge Steven Everett said: “It defies belief that anybody could do that to a young child. He can shake his head as much as he likes – that is not going to assist him.

“He obviously is in denial. I don’t think he even begins to understand the harm caused by those who view these terrible images.”

Police raided Jackson’s home in Edenhurst Drive, Formby just before 7am on March 14, 2013.

Officers took away two laptops and Jackson was interviewed the next day.

He said he had found life difficult after moving from South Africa to Merseyside and admitted viewing porn.

Jackson, who owns the shop in Three Tuns Lane, said this led to issues with his wife and made him depressed.

He accepted he downloaded the images, but later retracted the admission.

The defendant was interviewed again 14 months later, when he again admitted responsibility, and said he had been “in an exceptionally dark place”.

He said: “I got caught up in a shocking world, I really did.

“I would be foolish to deny it, absolutely foolish, whether I recall it, whether I want to recall it.”

But Jackson told the jury he was led to believe he was at fault by police.

He then tried to blame several innocent men, who he said had access to the laptop.

Simon Berkson, defending, said publicity surrounding the case led to Jackson being treated “as if he is a monster”.

He added: “One can understand why people might think that given what we heard this morning.”

However, Mr Berkson said his client, who has no previous convictions, was ill at the time of the offences.

Judge Everett said: “You were convicted, rightly in my judgement, on what was overwhelming evidence. I don’t know why you tried to deny what was so obvious to everyone else.”

The judge said Jackson had since admitted responsibility again to a probation officer, but “abjectly failed” to recognise that he helped create a market for “disgusting” abuse.

He said: “You demonstrated clear distorted thinking and a clear misunderstanding of the seriousness of what you did.”

Judge Everett said a pre-sentence report suggested Jackson gained sexual pleasure from viewing the images.

He said his wife and children were still supportive of him, despite being “utterly shocked at what he did behind their backs”.

Judge Everett handed Jackson 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision.

He ordered him to attend the Northumbria Sex Offenders Group Programme and to pay £3,500 court costs.

Jackson was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must sign on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Judge Everett said: “It’s time you look very carefully at what you did. You need to think long and hard about what those children suffered.”

July 2015

Shopkeeper found guilty of downloading child sex abuse images

A Formby shopkeeper was today found guilty of downloading child sex abuse images.

Malcolm Jackson, 60, initially admitted the offences in police interview, saying that he would be “foolish” to deny he was responsible.

But the Formby Hardware owner later pleaded not guilty and decided to face a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

He told a jury it was “not in his nature” to look at child sex abuse images and claimed that someone else must have used his laptop.

However, a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of downloading indecent photographs of children.

Jackson displayed no emotion in the dock as the guilty verdicts were returned.

Police raided his raided his home in Edenhurst Drive, Formby just before 7am on March 14, 2013.

Officers took away a Dell and a Fujitsu laptop from the main bedroom and Jackson was interviewed the next day.

He explained how he had found his new life difficult after moving from South Africa to Merseyside and admitted viewing porn.

Jackson, who owns the shop in Three Tuns Lane, said this led to some issues with his wife and had made him depressed, but insisted he had only ever been looking for adult porn.

He admitted searching for “pre-teens” and accepted any images on the computer would be down to him.

But in a second interview that day Jackson retracted his admission about searching for pictures of children.

The defendant was interviewed 14 months later, when he again accepted he was responsible for the pictures, and said he had been “in an exceptionally dark place”.

He told an officer: “I have tried to put these horrible images that I saw and what I did behind me and move on. I got caught up in a shocking world, I really did.

“I would be foolish to deny it, absolutely foolish, whether I recall it, whether I want to recall it. That period of time was so dark for me. Many times I felt like I wanted to walk into the ocean.”

Last week Jackson told the jury he had been led to believe he was at fault by the police officers interviewing him.

Jackson was asked why he told police he had been glad when they knocked on his door.

He said: “I realised that what I was doing was wrong, that I was stealing time from my family and I was watching porn by myself.

“It was absolutely awful what I did – a father that’s been pulled up watching pornographic material.”

Jackson told the court other people would have had access to the laptop which the images were found on and tried to blame of raft of different men during the trial.

Judge Steven Everett said he would be sentenced on September 8.

He remanded Jackson on bail.