Let The Orgy Of Buck-Passing Begin!

A Westcountry lawyer has spoken of his client’s “horror” after he was wrongly convicted of possessing child pornography before later proving the girls in the images were former girlfriends aged over 18.

Whoops!

Last week Judge Philip Wassall quashed the conviction, ending the 20-month nightmare for Mr Blatch at a cost of about £100,000 to the public purse.

Ouch!

One of Mr Blatch’s ex-partners, now aged 20, told the judge one of the images was of her aged 18 and not of an 11-year-old, as claimed by police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Couldn’t they have checked this out before the trial?

Mr Blatch’s ordeal began in 2009 when police seized his computer at his home in Teignmouth, Devon.

Yesterday, his solicitor Nigel Butt, said he was “astonished” Mr Blatch was ever charged.

Hmmm, it doesn’t say what sparked the initial raid. I wonder…

Mr Butt said some of the most popular magazines on the market showed far more provocative images of young girls and yet escaped prosecution.

He said: “I’ve seen pictures of Miley Cyrus aged just 15 effectively topless with just a blanket covering her front. But the owners of the magazines are not dragged into court.

“I asked the officer in charge of our case why action had not been taken against such publications. He said it was because no complaint had been made against them. It’s nonsense.”

Yes, it is indeed nonsense, but it’s an inevitable consequence of poorly-drafted laws driven by single-issue whackjobs and administered by the lowest common denominator with one eye on the clock and another on their meaningless statistics.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police declined to comment.

He said: “We refer all charging decisions to the CPS.”

‘Not us, guv’nor, we just follow orders!’

Alex Allsop, prosecutor, defended the CPS decision.

He said: “The prosecution were of the view that the persons were under 18 and so there was a realistic prospect of conviction.

“It is clearly in the public interest to prosecute cases of this nature. “

Is it? Has anyone ever asked the public?

I mean, if you asked them if they wanted £10,000 of public money spent on a man who collected underwear and swimsuit shots of his girlfriend, I suspect they’d say you must have a screw loose.
Of course, that’s not what you’d ask, is it? You’d ask ‘Do you want us to do all in our power to combat paedeos?’ and the answer would be an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’

“At his trial in Exeter Magistrates’ court, Mr Blatch was found guilty of 20 charges of possessing indecent photographs of children.

“In finding him guilty, the court stated that they believed all of the persons depicted in the photographs were under 16 years old.

“At his appeal in Exeter Crown Court, the judge and two magistrates stated that they could not be sure the persons depicted were under the age of 18, and so allowed his appeal.

“The judge commented that we had been right to bring this prosecution and that it was in the public interest to do so.

“We respect the court’s final decision.”

I’m sure you do. After all, you get paid regardless, don’t you?

8 comments for “Let The Orgy Of Buck-Passing Begin!

  1. September 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I’m assuming they don’t show the accused the evidence in these cases (probably as some might ‘get off’ on seeing the images again.)

    Because surely at the first instance he would of said “hold on a second, that’s my ex, her name is ….. and lives at …..”

    It is pretty Kafka like

    • September 15, 2011 at 5:59 am

      It’s possible he did just that, and the CPS simply charged him anyway?

  2. September 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Hang on, were any of the photos even iffy even if of 16-18 year olds? The article says that none of them were naked and while there was probably a fair bit of skin on show it says they were in swimming cossies and clubbing clothes. So WTF was the problem considering it’s not that long ago that Kate Moss was doing her early work, some of which showed her boobs, at age 16 and 17 and not long before that when Sam Fox was flaunting her 16 year old rack on page 3? As for that Wikipedia page that was banned everywhere because it was about that Scorpions album with a naked girl on the front 😯 . Come to think of it, some of my rellies will have photos of me aged about 3 and wandering around in the nip, and I’m pretty sure they’re not paedophiles either.

    • September 15, 2011 at 5:59 am

      “Hang on, were any of the photos even iffy even if of 16-18 year olds? “

      They don’t have to be, do they? Isn’t this yet another of those ‘strict liability’ offences?

  3. September 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Hmmm, it doesn’t say what sparked the initial raid. I wonder…

    Indeed, you are left wondering whether this is a case of “we couldn’t find any evidence to support our original suspicions, so we’ll have the bastard for something … anything we can plausibly fit him up for.”

    One of the problems is that the definition of an obscene image of a child is framed so broadly that I wouldn’t be surprised if 80% of the computer-owning population are potential offenders. Got any snaps of your mate’s 14-year-old daughter among the pictures you took at the barbie or on that day out at Chessington on your hard disk, perhaps one or two where’s she’s playing up to the camera a bit, being what us older folk call “pert”? Those, matey, if it suits the Old Bill and the CPS so to do, can be construed as level 1 images on the SAP scale. And by the time it comes to court and the jury have (if you’re lucky) thrown it out, your reputation is a goner.

    I wrote about this at

    http://dogwash48.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-frame.html

  4. Twenty_Rothmans
    September 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Never mind what will happen to you with an old issue of Health and Efficiency, imagine if you are found with one of Traci Lords’ earlier works. 😈

  5. September 15, 2011 at 6:53 am

    “…if it suits the Old Bill and the CPS so to do…”

    That, I suspect, being the key phrase…

  6. nisakiman
    September 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the future, coming your way soon.

    http://jezebel.com/5458674/rumor-australia-bans-porn-with-small+breasted-women

    Just make sure any pics you take feature women with massive mammaries.

    Mind you, I seem to remember that by the time my eldest daughter reached the age of 13 she had a real set of bazoombas, so I’m not sure how this “small breasts = underage porn” stuff is going to work. 🙄

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