Holiday snaps? Er, no - criminal porn
Know the difference - or you could be in trouble
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Nor is it especially clever, if you’re voluntarily handing your PC over to the police to assist them in their inquiries, not to understand the difference between “holiday snaps” and pictures of a criminally pornographic or indecent nature.
That, however, was the fairly elementary mistake made by Roger Bohling, 57, of The Fairway, Westella in North Yorkshire, as reported in this week's Hull and East Rig Mail. Bohling’s 18-year-old son Russell disappeared some six months ago and, in a desperate effort to help the police find him, Bohling happily handed over his computer and discs. They turned out to contain some 484 indecent images of children and a further 28 bestiality pics and movies featuring dogs and horses.
The images were accessed after payment was made by credit card and then downloaded onto a third party's computer. Bohling subsequently copied the files to his computer.
According to prosecutor Karen Quintick, appearing in Beverley Magistrates’ Court earlier this week, the first set of images were "of young children and pre-teens wearing clothes and posing to reveal their underwear".
Although deemed to be indecent, these images were nonetheless classed as "level one", which is at the low end of the scale of indecency.
Other images on the computer were classed as "extreme pornography".
In mitigation, Bohling's defence lawyer, Lawrence Watts, told the court that Bohling had never intended to break the law. He said: "He didn't understand that a photograph in which no sexual activity was depicted could be seen as indecent."
In an interview with the Hull Daily Mail Bohling claimed he had no interest in children. He explained that the photographs of children in their underwear were like "holiday snaps", and added: "I handed my computer to police knowing there were images there because I had to help them find Russell despite the consequences for me. I deeply regret the embarrassment to my family."
Roger Bohling pleaded guilty to 11 counts of possessing indecent images of children and animals.
He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register and released on unconditional bail, pending sentencing at Hull Crown Court on 20 September. ®