July 2020

Blackpool heart attack victim jailed after downloading indecent images of children on hospital wifi following discovery of 81,000 images

A pervert who had a stash of more than 81,000 images of child abuse was caught because she used a public hospital wifi network to download indecent images while recovering from a heart attack.

Julie Marshall, 54, of Warbreck Drive, Blackpool, was jailed for nine months ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years, and was handed a six year sexual harm prevention order after admitting downloading images of children as young as four.

Preston Crown Court heard the defendant, who is also known as John Robert Marshall, had 677 images deemed as category A – the most serious in law which shows the rape or torture of young children

Judge Simon Newell said he was unable to suspend her sentence, and added: ” I have to protect the public, I have to protect children and I have to deter others from this type of offending.

“There is no direct victim of this type of offending but there are indirect victims, and they are the children whose pictures have been taken. These are children who have no say what goes on.”

Some of the downloads date back as far as 2004. It took until 2019 – two years after the wifi downloads – to begin court proceedings

Prosecuting, Beth Pilling said: “Officers attended her property with a warrant in April 2018.

“Upon their arrival they asked her whether she had any images. She immediately told officers she did on a laptop and was visibly shaken and upset.

“She was arrested just prior to attempting to self harm.”

A probe found she had used search terms including “teens” and “15 year old models”.

Judge Simon Newell permitted the defendant, who uses a stick, to remain seated while he addressed her.

He said: “The Crown assert the main aggravating features are the period of time over which the downloading took place -14 years – and the amount of images, and to some extent the ages of the children involved.”

The judge also raised concerns about ongoing delays within the criminal justice system.

He said: “Until February or March this year the criminal justice system has been in a state of disarray. there are, on a day by day basis, cases that are old and stale and have not been investigated in a timely fashion, or brought to court in a timely fashion.

“In saying that, I stated as a matter of fact no criticism falls to me of the local police officers in this matter, or the CPS. There are many, many cases we have to deal with nowadays that involve computer, CCTV and mobile phone analysis. That is just the nature of technology within our society, and it’s used by people in a criminal capacity.

“Regrettably while that has increased, the resources of the CPS, police and court system have not increased. There are inherent delays and this is one of those many cases that manifest those delays.

“It is a great sadness that one sees not only the crime that occur but the fact they are exacerbated by the delays that occur. It is grossly unfair on the victims of crime.”