May 1999

Child porn pervert jailed

A SOLICITOR has warned how easy it is to download child pornography from the internet as a convicted paedophile from Warrington was jailed for four months.

Former BNFL worker James Williams Clemens, aged 25, was found with computer software containing nearly 700 obscene images of young boys, by police investigating a child porn ring.

But his solicitor, Gary Heaven, told Warrington magistrates that while his actions would be considered “beyond the pale” to the vast majority of people, sending Clemens to prison would not prevent others from committing such offences.

Mr Heaven said: “The fact is that even an eight-year-old with the capacity to use a computer can download this stuff – and there is nothing that we can do which will change that.”

Clemens, of Winwick Road, who lives opposite a children’s playground, confessed to having 684 indecent photos of “pre-pubescent males” – a selection of the photos were shown to the magistrates.

The court ordered that Clemens, who has a previous conviction for indecently assaulting an under-age boy, must sign the Sex Offenders Register for seven years.

Prosecutor Joanne Hamlin said Clemens, when quizzed by police over the find, admitted possessing most of the images – but claimed he was looking after the remainder for a friend.

Detectives from Cheshire and Staffordshire, conducting inquiries into paedophilia, came across Clemens’ name and visited him at his workplace, the BNFL offices at Risley.

Seizing computer hardware and software belonging to him, it was only later, when officers accessed 48 floppy disks, that they discovered the pornographic pictures.

Mr Heaven, defending, said his client came into contact with the child porn group via e-mail and the internet – but insisted Clemens was never directly involved with them, making it plain he “violently disapproved” of their activities.

Clemens even assisted police and given evidence in another, more serious, child porn court case, according to Mr Heaven, who stressed the images in the charges were intended for the defendant’s “own use” and not for wider distribution.

The court heard Clemens would lose a new job – he was dismissed from his BNFL position after his arrest – and most probably his home if he went to custody.

Neighbours of Clemens in Winwick Road were unaware of his sordid behaviour.

Resident Peter Deeley said: “He was a very quiet lad, I have seen him coming in out and of his house but really he kept himself to himself.”