June 2016

Frenchman downloaded child abuse movies in Devon because ‘it was easier than his home country’

31 Court

A FRENCH national downloaded films of child abuse while staying in Devon because he believed it was easier to do so in Britain than in his own country.

Benois de Godos used the internet connection at a girlfriend’s home in Bideford, North Devon, to access clips on peer to peer websites showing children as young as five being abused.

The 40-year-old, who claims he has an addiction to pornography, returned to his home in Cannes but was arrested at Gatwick Airport after a police investigation had identified him.

Experts found 179 indecent movies or images on three portable hard drives including 68 films showing the most serious sort of abuse of children by adults.

He claimed he had downloaded the material by accident while building up a massive library of pirated feature films which were more readily accessible in Britain than France.

He admitted three charges of making indecent images and was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, by Judge Ian Lawrie, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

The sentence meant he was able to fly straight back to France after the Judge told him: “The images and films were appalling and by downloading them you were contributing to a trade in human misery in which youngsters are exploited for the sexual gratification of people like you.”

Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said de Godos’ female friend was initially arrested after her IP address was linked to illegal downloads.

However. she was cleared by the inquiry but told police that de Godos had been staying there at the relevant times.

He was arrested and among the material found on his computer was one movie that was 21 minutes long and had been catalogued under subfolders with names which reflected the type of activity depicted.

Miss Eagles said: “It seems he found it easier to obtain this material in this country, which may have been the reason for the length of his stay.”

Kelly Scrivener, defending, said de Godos had a legitimate interest in mainstream movies which were more easy to access in Britain where the copyright laws are less strict than France.

She said he was addicted to adult pornography and had downloaded the child abuse material by accident but then viewed it.

She said he plans to go straight back to France and has no intention of coming back to Britain because his eight year relationship with the woman in Bideford ended as a result of this case.

He is now paying privately for psychotherapy in France to address his addiction to pornography.