Child porn choir leader escapes jail - The Leamington Observer
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Child porn choir leader escapes jail

Leamington Editorial 6th May, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A CHOIR leader from Warwick and member of his church’s parish council was found to have viewed more than 2,000 sexual images of children as young as two.

But Robert Humpherson escaped being jailed after a judge heard he has already started seeing a psychologist and attending counselling sessions to overcome his obsession.

Humpherson, 56, of Kilnsey Grove, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to 12 charges of making indecent images of children.

He was sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years, with two years supervision and a condition that he takes part in a sex offenders’ group programme for 100 days.

Prosecutor Blondelle Thompson said police raided Humpherson’s then home in Coventry in April last year where he was

present with his wife.

He was arrested, and in his study the police seized a computer and a storage device which were subsequently examined.

On the computer officers found over 2,000 child porn images – most of which were of children posing but their were also some hardcore images.

When Humpherson was interviewed he accepted he had been accessing the internet searching for ‘pre-teen hardcore,’ and had seen boys as well as girls from the age of five upwards.

But he claimed he believed the images would only be of adults and said he did not think he had saved any of the images he had viewed, having looked at about 30 a week..

During the interview he said he had recently been elected to his church’s parish council, and also talked about his work as a choir leader.

Matthew Brook, defending, said Humpherson had accepted he had been looking at child porn websites for a number of years but not saving or storing the images – which was supported by the fact that 99 per cent of the images found had been deleted or were on ‘unallocated space’ on his computer.

Mr Brook pointed out: “He is a man who at the time was working in the IT industry, so would have been the individual, had he wanted to, to use forensic software to erase completely this material so the police would not have found it.

“As he explained, he did not do that. He knew that eventually the police would come knocking at his door. He explains that it was a compulsion he was unable to control.”

Mr Brook said after being bailed by the police, Humpherson began to engage with a psychologist and with the Lucy Faithful Foundation, a child protection charity.

Mr Brook said Humpherson’s wife was ‘horrified’ at what he did, but was willing to support him in the progress he has made.

“He was involved in a church. He does not wish it to be named in court because of the impact it would have, but they are fully aware of this. A contract has been drawn up so there can be no suggestion he will have contact with children.” added Mr Brook.

Sentencing Humpherson, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years and made him subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the same period.

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