Charles Barnett told police officers to ‘go to hell’ after he was arrested in January 2014 after his former partner reported that she had discovered a stash of indecent images during a ‘spring clean’ of their home in St Ouen.
Barnett was sentenced to two years in prison by the Royal Court on Tuesday for five offences relating to possessing indecent images after being found guilty following a three-day trial last month. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a minimum of five years.
During the hearing the 70-year-old maintained that the images had been ‘planted’ as part of a conspiracy by his ex-partner – who he still lived with at the time – to end their relationship.
Outlining the case, Crown Advocate Julian Gollop, prosecuting, said that as well as printed photographs discovered by the defendant’s partner at their home, two computers belonging to Barnett were also found to contain indecent images and movies of children.
He added that Barnett had ‘no regret or remorse’ for his offending, and the Social Inquiry Report revealed that the defendant had ‘struggled to accept the concept of a child having their photograph taken when partially clothed or naked is a criminal offence’ which therefore ‘proliferates the sexual abuse of children’.
Advocate Natalie Addis, defending Barnett, said that her client had no relevant previous convictions and his actions had been out of character.
‘Mr Barnett’s ability to cope with a long-term prison sentence is limited and he is extremely anxious about going to prison,’ she said.
Commissioner Sir Michael Birt, presiding, said that although the majority of the images that were found were at the lower end of the Copine scale – which measures the severity of indecent images – a small number of photographs were at level four and five which meant that a non-custodial sentence was not appropriate.
The commissioner was sitting with Jurats Geoffrey Fisher and Charles Blampied.