Scout leader jailed over child porn

A 36-YEAR-old scout leader who downloaded a single image of child pornography has been jailed for three months.Mark Cartwright, of Creed Walk, Bury St Edmunds, was found to have stored a moving image lasting three to four seconds of a 10-year-old girl performing oral sex on an adult male.

A 36-YEAR-old scout leader who downloaded a single image of child pornography has been jailed for three months.

Mark Cartwright, of Creed Walk, Bury St Edmunds, was found to have stored a moving image lasting three to four seconds of a 10-year-old girl performing oral sex on an adult male.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said the image was graded at level four, on a scale of one to five, with level five being the most serious.

He said Cartwright told police that the image had "slipped through the net" while he was searching on the internet for adult pornography.

Sentencing Cartwright, Judge John Holt said the defendant had given a very careful explanation as to how the offence had occurred.

He said: "That basis of plea has been accepted by the prosecution and it is that the intent behind the offence was reckless rather than fully deliberate. Nevertheless the photograph which you possessed was what the law describes as level four, that is penetrative, sexual activity between a child and an adult.

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"In my judgement society is abhorrent of such images of child sexual abuse and child porn at level four in particular must be respected and can only be punished by a term of imprisonment."

He ordered Cartwright, who admitted one offence of possessing an indecent picture of a child, to sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

He also made an order disqualifying him from working with children for life. The judge said in his opinion it was likely that Cartwright could commit further offences against a child and he therefore exercised his discretion in making an order disqualifying him from working with children in the future.

Joanne Ely, for Cartwright, said her client accepted that he knew that by going into adult porn sites there was a real risk that child pornography could be downloaded on his computer.

She said Cartwright had been a volunteer scout leader with a local group but since being charged with the offence the court had heard about, he had suspended himself as the leader.

She said he had worked as a scout leader for many years and had no history of similar offences.

Miss Ely said there was no truth in a suggestion that since his suspension as a scout leader that Cartwright had applied to be a voluntary leader with a sea scout group.

After the case, John Mabb, county commissioner for Suffolk Scouts, said: "We have a very strong policy about protecting young people and our leaders now go through the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) system.

"We take this very, very seriously, and always have done. In the past, we used to have a confidential inquiry check and all leaders have always had to provide references before they can be made a leader.

"Even in my four years as County Commissioner we have declined the volunteering services of a few people because of the checks that have been made.

"If anything, these checks are stronger now than they ever have been."

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