Febuary 2009

Man branded liar over child porn

LLOYD Clark could be forced into bankruptcy after being found with child pornography on his computer, a court heard.

The prospect emerged after a judge ordered him to pay a punitive amount of costs after Clark – branded a “liar” – insisted on having a trial.

Clark (53), of St Nicholas Drive, Wybers Wood, Grimsby, was convicted by a jury of four offences of making indecent photographs of children, between October 2005 and May 2007.

He downloaded the images from the internet, Grimsby Crown Court heard.

Clark told the jury: “I haven’t done it. I have no knowledge of it. I never saw any indecent images.”

He claimed he had been having problems with an internet provider and that child pornography might have found its way on to his computer among a mass of other material.

He added: “I don’t know where it came from. I am convinced I haven’t downloaded these images.”

At a sentencing hearing before Hull Crown Court, Clark was ordered to pay the full £2,546 prosecution costs and to pay for the cost of his own defence, up to a limit of just over £22,000.

Judge Graham Robinson told him: “If the consequence is bankruptcy, then so be it.

“The jury had very little difficulty in seeing you were a liar.”

Clark was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order and was banned from working with children for life.

“If you are still in denial, there is no knowing what you are capable of doing,” said Judge Robinson.

Clark was given a three-year community order, which is the maximum permissible.

Judge Robinson told him the probation service would be empowered to require him to undertake a course for internet sexual offenders.

Clark, who had no previous convictions, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the next five years.

An order was made for the forfeiture of the computer equipment and other items associated with the offences.

Judge Robinson said: “These are not victimless crimes.

“While there is a market for these images, people will be exploited.

“It’s something that’s got to be stamped out.”

Richard Butters, mitigating, said Clark had been suspended from his employment and it was likely he would lose his job.