A former Labour party councillor had downloaded over 290,000 indecent images of children from an illegal online chat network, but was given a suspended sentence, which means he will face zero justice for his crimes.
Roger Spackman (50), who was a Labour councillor on Exeter City Council until he was arrested in 2017, was found to have 290,672 indecent images of children across 68 devices. Dozens of the pictures depicted children being raped, with dozens more showing non-penetrative sexual activity with children—thousands more featured children in sexual poses.
There were also pictures of young girls that had male genitalia photoshopped in, so that they appeared to be performing sexual acts. Spackman had been working at a secure children’s home at the time he started collecting the child pornography.
The former Labour councillor pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images and two counts of possessing prohibited or extreme images. Spackman claimed that the abuse he suffered as a child was the motivating factor behind his paedophilic impulses.
Spackman will most likely avoid serving any time in prison, however, as he was handed a ten-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years. That means that if he abides by the conditions of his sentence, he will remain free.
DevonLive provides the details on how he was caught.
He was part of an underground internet community called The Other Place where he exchanged sexual fantasies. At times he pretended to be an abused young girl during the online chats.
He got involved in the online chats because he was trying to come to terms with abuse in his own childhood, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Spackman was traced by police after they took down the network. He used an online alias but his messages came from the IP address of his home.
Police seized 68 devices and found 290,672 images of which only about an eighth were analysed, finding 58 images in the worst category A, which depicts child rape.
There were 49 category B images depicting non penetrative sexual activity, 27,407 category C images showing sexual posing and 8,672 indecent drawings or cartoons.
There were also text chats and images of young girls which had been altered by adding male genitalia so as to make it look as if they were engaging in sexual acts.
After being in jail for ten months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 40 days of rehabilitation activities, being placed on the sex offenders’ register and given a sexual harm prevention order which allows the police to monitor his future use of the internet along with paying £420 in costs by Judge Peter Johnson, the judge said, “You are of good character and have worked in the service of the public as a councillor. Your fall from grace has been dramatic.”
Come again? Good character? Looking at children like that? There’s no good character in that at all.
“Over approximately nine years you were receiving a large number of indecent images, the vast majority being category C images although there were a number at category A,” the judge added.
“The reason for this appears to be that you were abused as a child and have demons that have possessed you. You have bared your soul to complete strangers to explain how came to have these images,” the judge continued.
“In essence, you were undertaking some form of therapeutic role play in which others invited you to take the part of the victim and sent you indecent photographs to assist in the role play,” Judge Johnson said. “What is troubling is the huge and remarkable number of images.”
The judge should be held accountable should Mr. Johnson, God forbid, get his hands on some unsuspecting pre-pubescent child.
So, he avoided any sense of justice, but the state made off with some money and the people paid for it. Go figure.
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