Being renowned for its expertise in dealing with sexual offences, we recently acted for a man accused of possessing indecent images of children at St. Albans Crown Court. Police found 9 indecent images of children on his computer. Our client explained to police in interview that he had not knowingly downloaded the images. He explained that he was a user of adult pornography and that he would use file sharing software to bulk download material from the internet. He explained that he had tried to set the parameters of the file sharing software so as to exclude indecent images of children being inadvertently downloaded along with the adult material.
Despite his account given in interview, our client was still charged with 3 counts of possessing the indecent images of children. He pleaded not guilty and his case proceeded in due course to a trial at St. Albans Crown Court in December 2017.
As part of preparing his defence for trial we instructed an IT expert to examine our client’s computer and comment upon the plausibility of his account. The independent expert produced a report which showed that our client had approximately 10, 000 adult pornographic files on his computer, but that he had never opened or viewed the 9 indecent child images and that he had indeed set search parameters to try to exclude such illegal material being downloaded. Our expert gave evidence during the trial at the end of which our client was unanimously acquitted in relation to all 3 counts alleged against him.
This case goes to illustrate how important it is to have both legal and technical experts working together to ensure that the case is properly prepared, and the right outcome is achieved. If you are being investigated or prosecuted for a sexual offence or one relating to indecent images of children, contact us immediately to see how we can help.