AN ‘otherwise respectable’ Leamington businessman who downloaded and viewed child pornography which included an image of a baby being raped has been jailed.
Geoffrey Clark had pleaded guilty to five charges of possessing indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography showing acts of bestiality.
The 57 year-old of The Fairways, at the time, was jailed for eight months by a judge at Coventry Crown Court who also ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Kevin Saunders, prosecuting, said that police executed a warrant at Clark’s home in December 2014 and told him the reason, he volunteered he was solely responsible for the indecent images on various devices.
Four devices were seized, and on two of them, a Lenovo laptop and an i-Pad, officers subsequently found a number of indecent images of children.
There were 14 stills and two movies classed as hardcore – including an image of a baby girl aged between one and two years old being raped.
There were 920 stills and another two movies, together with 11 stills and 32 movies of extreme pornography involving acts of bestiality between adult women and animals.
When Clark was interviewed, he made full admissions, explaining he had used a peer-to-peer software program to obtain the images, which he said he had viewed intermittently over the previous two years for sexual gratification.
Caroline Goodwin, defending, accepted Clark had searched for the images, but said a doctor’s report indicated ‘how it was a man of good standing came to be looking at this material.’
He was diagnosed as suffering from a depressive episode, but accepted that after looking for pornography he ‘progressed to material of this nature,’ which he repeatedly went back to view.
Judge Philip Gregory remarked: “I accept he is ashamed.
He’s a graduate and he ran his own business. He lived with his wife and family, and has now moved out and moved into a flat in Nuneaton.”
Miss Goodwin added: “This has driven his family apart. The issue is now how one begins to grapple with this. He has begun to address his offending.
Jailing Clark, who has been living at an address in Edward Street, Nuneaton, since leaving the family home, Judge Gregory told him: “You are an otherwise respectable and hard-working man who ran your own business for many years.
“You led a blameless life. It is therefore particularly regrettable to see someone like you in the dock, having been involved in offending of such a grave nature.
“You abused an internet facility in order to search for pornographic images of children for your own sexual gratification.
“I’ve considered the excellent mitigation put forward on your behalf and a reference from your friend, and well understand you have, in effect, come to your senses and are unlikely to engage in such offences again.
“But when courts pass sentence the purpose is multi-faceted, and it includes not only rehabilitation of the offender, but punishment for the crime and deterrence.
“These are not victimless crimes. The victims are the poor benighted children who have been cruelly abused for the purpose of making these images. They are truly abhorrent.
“My public duty, I am satisfied, means I have to pass an immediate custodial sentence. I cannot let you walk free from this court today.”