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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi I wonder if you can help me, a family member has been charged

Customer Question

Hi I wonder if you can help me, a family member has been charged with possession indecent images found on the computer, he has not been charged with distribution however, i have been trying to determine what his sentence will be based on other sentences however would rather get a professional opinion.

1 video at grade 5 / 104 images at grade 5
57 video / 1580 image at grade 4
8 video / 1106 image at grade 3
61 video / 419 image at grade 2
22 video / 4201 image at grade 1

He will see a solicitor later shortly to apply for legal aid, i realise that there are a high number of level 4 and 5 so a custodial sentence may be possible. I also have some other questions such as if sentenced and he received prison is he eligible for home curfew order under good behaviour? Say he got 6 months what would the actual term inside be? he also pleaded guilty and was truthful to the police from the beginning the have found exactly what he said would be there. He admits to doing this over a period of a few months. Should he have an independent forensic check that the level of images are correct I am going on what i have read on other sites etc

thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Can I presume that he would plead guilty?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes he would plead guilty, he admits to downloading and is very sorry , he has waited about a year to be charged.


 


kind Regards

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
.

Thanks for the information.

It is obviously difficult to assess with certainty in this forum. Sentence would depend on variables to which I will not have access. For instance some of the images might be downgraded upon review, the age of the child will be a factor. If these are images of children under 13 then the sentences increase.

However, on a rough guideline I can tell you that this probably falls into the penultimate sentencing bracket basically because they are high level images in large quantity but they are for own personal use.

The starting point is 12 months custody and the range is 26 weeks to 2 years.

Those guidelines are for first time offenders convicted after trial. If he pleads then he will get one third off.

If the actual term is under 12 months then the judge must consider suspending it which is a real possibility because then he could engage with community orders.

The court will also consider disqualifying him from working with children and probably a SOPO as well I'm afraid.

Overall though, there's a reasonable chance of avoiding custody.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 65321
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Jo C. and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thankyou for your prompt reply, should he have a solicitor review the images to check they have all been applied correctly? or will this delay matters further for no reason? He was suprised at the level of 4 and 5 images himself, he had been block downloading with some not being viewed. Should this be put forward as mitigation in court?


 


He is attending a wedding and i have no way to explain his absence as you can imagine. Is there anything I can advise him in terms of solicitor? Such as one specialising in these cases that i pay for? I realise there is no defence really for this as he downloaded everything even though he may not have viewed all.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay overnight

Do you mean he is attending a wedding instead of going to court?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi no problem at all,

He will be going to magistrates in the next 2 weeks, the wedding is in 2 months, missing the wedding would be more problematic than him just going to prison if that makes sense as we are of course unable to say to anyone what has happened due to the nature of the offence, there would be no suitable explanation to give.

is it worth having one of these hired forensic experts check for image duplicates, and correct image placement within each category etc ? There could also be the possibility that they could prove some of these level 4 and 5 images were never viewed as it was a high speed internet connection and he block downloaded without viewing everything so normal porn mixed in there too. I guess I am saying are the police very accurate on this or should someone always get a second opinion on the defence side regarding all images?

thankyou
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
He won't be sentenced in 2 weeks. It will be sent to the Crown Court which probably take two weeks to a month depending on the area.

Even if he pleads at first appearance its likely to be adjourned off for a further three weeks for a pre sentence report so you may be in luck.

the first thing to do is to look into the issue of whether or not these are really level 5 images. Level 5 is rare. The police often do not understand gradings of images. If this has been charged then it must have been review by a CPS lawyer but that doesn't necessarily fill anybody with confidence.

The offence is not in viewing them but in possession. If this was an online viewing then obviously there needs to be a viewing then but with downloads there's no need to prove that he knew they were there if they were there. There are different levels of downloading though and it is worth getting counsel to look at that.

I know that this counsel

http://www.1itl.com/profiles/103

has lots of experience.

Do not accept the firms' inhouse advocate. You have the right to a barrister.

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Jo C.
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