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Finance worker jailed for possessing indecent images

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A FINANCE worker who downloaded 159 indecent images of children has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Daniel Thomas Leigh

Daniel Thomas Leigh (25) appeared in the Royal Court after the police raided his St Helier flat on 25 July 2018, having received intelligence that someone with access to the address may have illegal material.

According to Crown Advocate Solicitor General Mark Temple, prosecuting, two men were at the property, including the defendant, and a large number of electrical items and memory devices were seized and analysed.

On an NZXT computer, six indecent images were found, on a Samsung Galaxy phone a further four images were found and on a Windows Surface Tablet 149 images were discovered. The NZXT computer also contained an anti-forensics file-wiping programme.

According to Mr Temple, on the copine scale, which determines the severity of indecent images, 72 of these were level four – the second highest category – and two were level five.

During a police interview, Leigh told officers that there might have been indecent images on the tablet, referring to one download he had made – through torrent software – but he said he had cancelled it before it had finished downloading and did not know what was in the images.

The defendant later admitted watching sexual cartoons where some of the characters had been children. When asked why he would watch these if he was not sexually attracted to children, Leigh told officers: ‘I feel there’s a problem...I’m not gonna lie about that.’

Advocate Nicholas Mière, defending, said that his client was of previous good character and had made a good career for himself, rising to the ranks of assistant manager within a finance company.

‘He will be scarred by the stigma of this conviction for the rest of his life and must carry society’s natural revulsion of these offences,’ he said.

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‘He has destroyed his career, let his family down and let himself down. But that is not intended to distract from the seriousness of the offences and he fully realises the seriousness of his actions.’

Mr Mière said that Leigh had suffered a difficult and troubled upbringing, had sought help from a psychologist to deal with his offending while in prison – during the 128 days he had already spent there on remand – and had shut himself away from all his family and friends.

However, in sentencing, the Bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, said that he could not avoid sending Leigh to jail or overlook the seriousness of his crimes.

‘There is a danger in internet pornography as it can be addictive but I cannot overlook the fact the these are not victimless crimes and a real child has been abused,’ he said.

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‘The possession of a significant number of indecent images means that a large number of children have been abused on a small number of occasions or a large number of children have been abused on a small number of occasions.

‘In this case there were over 100 and that does constitute an aggravating factor. We have also noted that there was some file-wiping software which makes it difficult to see how many images you have viewed.’

The court sentenced Leigh to two years in prison, taking into account time served.

Jurats Charles Blampied and Jane Ronge were also sitting.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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