Thursday 27 March 2014

Paedo Allowed To Spend Time With Children, Bedfordshire.

A Paedophile caught with sickening photographs of children, has won an Appeal Court ruling which means he is allowed to be around youngsters - but his computer can be inspected by police at any time.

John Williams was handed a three-year community order at Luton Crown Court in October last year, after he admitted possessing indecent images of children.

The 35-year-old, of Viking Grove, Kempston, was also ordered to complete an internet sex offenders' treatment programme and was given a sexual offences prevention order (Sopo).

Under the terms of that order, he was banned from having contact with children and was told his computer equipment could be scrutinised by officers - without any notice.

He challenged the order at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing that it was 'too oppressive'.

Top judges allowed his appeal against one aspect of the order, saying the condition banning him from having contact with children was 'too wide'.

But they said the police should be able to check his computer at any time, adding that this would 'concentrate his mind' on his rehabilitation and ensure he sticks to the terms of the Sopo.

The court heard officers searched Williams' home in June 2011 and seized his computer equipment, which was later found to contain 2,361 indecent images of children.

Judge David Griffith Jones QC said Williams had no previous convictions, was described by a probation officer as being remorseful, and was willing to engage in psychiatric therapy.

His lawyers argued the two terms of his Sopo were 'too wide' and restrictive and urged judges to vary them so that he be allowed contact with children and the police would only be able to visit him at certain hours of the day.

Allowing the appeal against the ban on contact with children, Judge Griffith Jones said there was 'no indication whatsoever' from psychiatric evidence that Williams was likely to commit an offence against a child.

However, the judge said the order that police could check on him whenever they wished should remain in force.

Sitting with Lord Justice Fulford and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, he added: "Having given this careful consideration, we conclude that this measure is both necessary and proportionate.

"It seems to us that, where someone has downloaded material in the privacy of their own home, it thwarts the protection this provision creates to say police can only attend or seek to attend within certain hours.

"The fact he will know that the police can inspect his computer equipment at any time will concentrate his mind to further reinforce his intention to obey the terms of this order."

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