April 2021

Man built sick library of ‘Manga-style boys’ for his own pleasure

A 70-year-old man who downloaded indecent images and cartoons of children told police he did not know the cartoons were “illegal”.

Graeme Spink pleaded guilty at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on April 12 to three offences of possessing indecent pseudo-photographs of children and one offence of possession of prohibited images of children.

Prosecutors at Plymouth Crown Court explained how on August 12, 2019 the police, acting on information they had received, executed a search warrant at Spink’s home in Cardinal Avenue, St Budeaux.

On arrest, Spink told police “I’ve downloaded indecent images from Shotacon which was of young boys in cartoons. I didn’t know cartoons were illegal.”

Shota is a Japanese slang term used in manga and anime fandoms to indicate sex involving an underage boy.

Investigators examined 13 devices, including hard drives, tablets and various other computer equipment, plus a Nokia mobile phone. The phone was the only item which was “successfully downloaded and examined” by police. On it officers found images and videos of children, aged 10 to 16 years of age.

The court heard officers found 115 files, including eight videos of category A – the most severe category which in legal description includes images “involving penetrative sexual activity” and “images involving sexual activity with an animal or sadism”.

Officers also found a further 224 files, including four videos of category B and 198 category C files and 1,102 cartoons. The prosecutor requested Spink be made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and noted he had now been placed on the Sex Offender’s Register.

Spink was made subject of a two year community order and to complete 35 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days. He ordered Spink to pay £425 costs towards the court and a victim surcharge of £90.

Spink was also made subject of a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.