June 2016

Pensioner walks free after downloading more than 1,000 child abuse photos

A PENSIONER who downloaded more than 1,000 images of child abuse images has walked free from court after a judge said it was “not in the public interest” to jail him.

But lung cancer patient Geoffrey Bowyer defended his actions and told police it was “morally wrong” but not illegal.

He claimed none of the children photographed in the warped images were being forced to take part in the sick abuse.

Despite his act he walked free from court after a Judge felt it was not in the public interest to cage him.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photos of a child at a previous case.

Prosecuting, Lisa Goddard told Reading Crown Court: “As part of that investigation police were able to track one of those IP addresses to this defendant’s home address.

“They attended on April 15 last year and seized a number of pictures on computer equipment from the defendant’s bedroom.

“Mr Bowyer was at home when the police carried out their search. When he was arrested he made the comment ‘I have viewed but not distributed any images’.”

The files were created between 2008 and 2011, Ms Goddard added after it was revealed Bowyer was using a peer to peer network to share the images.

She added: “He thought it wasn’t illegal, but morally wrong.

“He admitted using the USB for storage and using software to remove his internet history. He had seen images of children as young as two, three and four.”

But Judge Stephen John told Bowyer’s barrister he would not be sending the sick pensioner to prison.

He said: “It’s very sad to see a man of your age in the crown court for the first, and I very much hope, only time.

“You had a significant collection of material; a quantity in excess of 100 being considered as large by the courts.

“You must understand that each image of this kind represents an occasion upon which a child has been abused. Abuse doesn’t only exist when children are physically harmed; it also happens when they are required to be photographed or filmed so their photos can be viewed by people such as you.

“The number of children abused has escalated. It is an offence which has become much too common.

“That you did not believe what you did was an offence is not credible.

“You have accepted responsibility, although you have minimised your culpability; worryingly, in my judgment, stating none of the victims were crying or pushing the abuser away, and none were being forced or under duress.”

He was given a 24 month community order instead of a prison sentence because he does not pose a risk to children, according to Judge John.

The pervert from Ascot, Berks, will be subject to notification requirements for sex offenders for the next five years.