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Teacher’s Net porn conviction upheld

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A school teacher's four-month sentence for downloading child porn from the Internet has been upheld by the Court of Appeal, setting a legal precedent. The sentence had previously been quashed on appeal but the judges ruled that downloading or printing indecent material constituted an offence. Jonathan Bowden said he was not aware he had done anything illegal and the material was for personal use. He also admitted printing out some of the downloaded images - something the Court decided was equivalent to "making" photographs. Bowden was therefore taken to be guilty under the 1978 Protection of Children Act. However, the judges also ruled the sentence was wrong in principle and excessive and reduced it to a 12-month conditional discharge. The case started when Bowden took his PC's hard drive in for repair. Staff found indecent material and the police were called. Mirroring Gary Glitter's situation, the police then arrested him following the seizure of a computer and some floppy disks. ®

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