Sept 2004

Life of porn shame accountant falls apart

THE life of father-of-three Michael Forster was wrecked after police found pornographic images of children on his computer, a court heard.

Forster, 46, lost his job as an accountant, his marriage suffered and he had to sell his house, said Michael Hillman, defending at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court.

Forster, formerly of Lapins Lane, West Malling, near Maidstone, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of making indecent photographs of children.

Forster, who has since moved from Kent, was given a conditional discharge for three years and ordered to pay £150 costs.

Nadine Brew, prosecuting, said police were alerted to Forster’s dealings after he made a credit card payment to a pornographic website known to hold indecent images of children.

A raid was carried out on his home on June 2, with uniformed police taking away two laptops and further computer equipment, Ms Brew said.

She added: “During interviews he admitted he used the Internet and admitted to going on websites with adult content as well as having membership with certain websites.

“He said he had looked at 17 and 18-year-olds, but when seeing children he said he would open it then close it. E-mail correspondence from a woman called Maria was also found, which related to whether Maria spanked her daughter on her bare bottom.”

Ms Brew said Forster could provide no reasonable explanation as to why the images of children were found on his computer. He maintained he did not look at the images of children for pleasure but when they popped up simply shut them down.

However, records of the images were stored on his machine’s temporary file, and police could see what he had viewed.

Mr Hillman, defending, said Forster’s life had been severely affected by the court case. “His life has fallen apart. He has been forced to resign from his employment as an accountant.

“His wife is a nurse and she has resigned. He and his wife have had marital difficulties they have moved house to start a new life,” he added.

“Mr Forster describes his interest as an addiction and he has surfed the Internet looking at things which are not illegal, but inevitably he came across sites that would contain illegal pornography.”