March 2004

Child porn ‘curiosity’

A £50,000-a-year businessman, who was said to have accessed child pornography sites ‘out of curiosity’, narrowly escaped a prison sentence on Thursday.

Judge Charles Gratwicke told Ian Tomalin, 47, that the dividing line between going to prison and not going to prison was ‘a very fine one.’

Tomalin, 47, of Orchard Cottage, Great Easton, Dunmow, had been committed for sentence by Harlow Magistrates’ after admitting 16 offences of possessing indecent photos of children.

He was made the subject of a Community Rehabilitation Order for three years and ordered to pay £154 prosecution costs. He was also ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

Tomalin, arrested as part of Operation Ore, told police he accessed the material not for sexual gratification but rather out of curiosity.

Jamas Hodivala, mitigating, said the images were found on one computer seized from the defendant’s work premises. No images were found at his residential address.