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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71147
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, i go to magestrates court tomorrow because i was charged

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Hi, i go to magestrates court tomorrow because i was charged for possession of indecent images on my home computer in the uk. I'm british and currently have no criminal record. They found over 10 thousand images and range from all different category levels. the police have told me that there is a good chance i wont go to prison. it will be passed to crown court. what do i expect to happen and what do you advise me to say at court tomorrow?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
You did have a solicitor in police interview?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Have you admitted the offence?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


How many level 5 and 4s roughly?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

519 and 810

Ok. Thanks.
Realistically that is going to fall into Category A of the sentencing guidelines then.
I presume that you are just a possessor of these images rather than involved in production or distribution?
If so, the guidelines say that the starting point is one year custody and the range is 26 weeks to three years. You would get one third off for a guilty plea.
I haven't had full vision of this case obviously and a lot of the aggravating and mitigating features do relate to the nature of the photographs but probably the Court won't stray far from the starting point.
That would mean that the court would start at 1 year and reduce down to 8 months for the guilty plea.
If so, the Judge would have to consider suspending it because its under 12 months and usually they do find a way to achieve that unless there is horrendous aggravation.
In terms of tomorrow, just instruct the duty solicitor who will tell you what to do. It will just be a matter of pleading guilty and the Magisgtrates will send it to the Crown court.
For future reference, never have interviews without solicitors and unless you can truthfully deny an allegation, make a no comment interview.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it did fall in to cat a i made a mistake it's just 810 for cat a total. an expert police officer did say to me that it's a rising crime nowadays and they deal with hundreds of cases every month now. she did say that if i get sent to st albans crown court there is a very good chance i wont go to prison and will be given an alternative punishment because they are used to this sort of crime but if i get sent to cambridge crown court there is a very good chance i will go to prison. she also said that there have been cases where people with hundreds of thousands of images ranging from all different levels didn't go to prison but it's just a matter of which court it goes to. i was just possessing and nothing more.

Yes, it is a rising crime for lots of reasons. Sexual interest in children isn't rising though. Thats always been very static and very small.
Don't take advice from police officers. They know nothing at all about civil law and not much about crime.
I go to both St Albans and Cambridge all the time and I certainly haven't noticed soft sentences at St Albans.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

that's very disappointing news Cry it's strange because literally every officer that deals with this said that there's a very good chance i won't go to prison because i was just possessing and not sharing, uploading or more etc.

Well, it doesn't mean you will get custody. I was just making the point that its not a good idea to take advice from police officers and anybody who thinks St Albans is a soft sentencing court just plain doesn't go there.
Possession alone does attact much lower sentences than distribution or production. Thats why they will consider a suspended sentence.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay i'm confussed because you said that the least i could expect is 8 months for pleading guilty

No, thats not what I said. I cannot guarantee anything at all for the reasons covered above,
Also, pleaase see my point above about suspended sentences.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay i was told that i would speak to someone at court tomorrow about the offence and was told to basically apologise and to try and assure them that it will not happen again etc. I was told to get some legal advice on what to say.

That won't arise tomorrow. The Magistrates wont sentence this. They will send it to the Crown court.
Nobody can tell you what to say in court. You can only tell the truth. In any event, you shouldn;t be mitigating yourself.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

apparently i would speak to someone who would then pass the information on to the judge i think. that must be when i go to crown then. when will my crown court date be roughly?

Yes, the duty solicitor.
He will ask you all the relevant questions and an expression of remorse is the obvious one.
The other person that might have been meant is the Probation officer but that won't happen tomorrow either. It will go to the Crown Court and there will be a hearing where the Judge will order a pre sentence report.
The trouble with saying that it won't happen again is that Probation won't believe you. They see abusers hiding in every dark corner.
They will be looking for you to accept there is a problem and be willing to address it.
The magistrates don't set a date for the crown court hearing. Its just adjourned off for a date to be notified but usually within three weeks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay so if i admit to needing help for downloading this material even though i'm not sexually aroused by it but because there's obviouslly a psychological problem for downloading it, even if it was just out of curiosity. will that be the best thing to do?

Well, only if that is the truth.
Its not all that likely that they will accept you were sexually aroused I'm afraid. There are people who do get into this position out of curiousity but usually then don't have 10k of images.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

these are all very recent downloads and were bulk downloaded from a p2p network and most of the downloads were singular archives containing thousands of images and wasn't clear what was inside.

That would not change my answer I'm afraid.
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