Dec 2007

Child porn man has sentence overturned

A UNIVERSITY student who has twice been caught downloading images of naked young boys from the internet had his indefinite prison term overturned by the nation’s top judge.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, said the tough indefinite sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) handed to 21-year-old Alexander James Terrell at Newport Crown Court in July was too harsh and would be quashed.

Under the strict rules governing his IPP sentence, Terrell would not have been released until he could persuade the parole board he is safe, and could potentially have spent the rest of his days behind bars.

But now, after the ruling at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, Terrell, who lives in Rosemont Avenue, Risca, will serve a standard 10-month jail term for his admitted offences of downloading indecent images from the internet.

His lawyers had argued that the nature of his offences did not mean that he had passed the “threshold” for an indeterminate sentence, in that he did not pose a “significant risk of serious harm” to the public by the commission of further offences.

Their argument revolved around whether or not his actions in downloading the images would actually have caused any harm to the children.

He would have been only one of many people who viewed the images and had not directly been involved in making them, so the additional harm specifically caused to the children in question by his own viewing of the pictures was minimal, his legal team submitted.

At the end of the hearing, Lord Phillips, who sat with two other top judges, Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Blake, said the sentence would be quashed, but reserved giving reasons until a later date.

Terrell was arrested at his student digs in Bournemouth, where he was in his first year at university, after police officers found images on his computer back home in South Wales.

He had previously been convicted of charges relating to more than 1,200 indecent images of children in February 2003.