Former Eton Pupil Andrew Picard was spared jail on Thursday, despite sharing various child abuse photos from a shared computer in his dorm. Some of the photos involved two-year-olds being raped.
Picard’s computer had more than 2,000 images of child pornography, and was caught sharing them when he was 17 through chat rooms. The material was shared with an undercover police officer, which is when he was caught. According to the prosecution, Picard was in a chatroom for people aged 13 to 19. On February 19, 2015, he contacted the undercover police officer, asking if he wanted to see nude pictures of boys or girls his age, believing he was another teen. He later shared images of girls between eight and 14 and boys aged 10.
His IP address was traced to the prestigious college, and he was arrested right away. He has since admitted 10 counts of child pornography. Some of the photos found on his computer included two-year-olds being raped and bestiality.
Judge Peter Ross sentenced Picard to 10 months in prison, but the term was suspended for 18 months. Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC argued that Picard’s psychological treatment in the last year was testament that he wanted to change his ways. He had started working with psychiatrists and doctors after the conviction. He will have to continue his treatment during his suspended sentence. Many have said that this was a sign of privilege in England.
In summary, Judge Ross said that too many people have a degree of detachment when working in chatrooms. He did want to encourage Picard to think about his actions involving children, as too many are “made objects” in third world countries. According to doctors, Picard shared the abusive images because he was struggling with his own sexuality.
Image of Eton College by Martin Kraft (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eton_College#/media/File:MK17835-38_Ethon_College.jpg). Used under the CC-3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
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