September 2014

Former Tory councillor & Ex-Sheriff of Canterbury has sentence slashed for child abuse images

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Perverted former Sheriff of Canterbury Martin Fisher has had his sentence for child abuse pictures cut by appeal court judges.

The 64-year-old former Tankerton Tory was jailed after he viewed indecent images of naked children – despite a ban designed to curtail “porn addiction”.

But he was caught repeatedly by police with illegal images on his PC during unannounced visits to his home in 2013.

Fisher, of Queen’s Road, Whitstable, was jailed for 28 months at Canterbury Crown Court in May after he admitted breaching a sexual offences prevention order and making indecent images of children as young as two.

But now Lord Justice Aikens, Mr Justice Hickinbottom and Mr Justice Lindblom, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, have ruled he was treated too harshly and reduced his sentence to 18 months.

The court heard Fisher, who is now retired and previously ran a home insurance underwriting business, was banned from using the internet for 10 years by the SOPO, unless he submitted to regular inspections of his browsing by the police and did not delete his web history.

But he was caught with illegal images of naked children on his computer during unexpected visits by police to his home and also broke the order by deleting his history on one occasion when he saw officers at his door.

Fisher initially claimed not to have a sexual interest in the naked pictures of children he was poring over, but rather professed an “aesthetic” and “artistic” fascination.

However, he later accepted that he had a problem and voluntarily underwent psychotherapy in a bid to beat what he dubbed a “porn addiction” before finally spending all his chances and being jailed again.

Lawyers for Fisher argued his punishment was too tough, due to his attempts to reform and given the small numbers of images he was found with and the relatively low level of obscenity.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom, allowing his appeal, said: “There were significant aggravating factors to this offending.

“It must never be forgotten that the subjects of child pornography are real children, being subject to real degradations and that those who download this material from the internet can only add fuel to this behavior.

“However the images involved in this case were mostly of children engaged in no sexual activity at all. The sentence imposed was manifestly too high.

“We quash the sentence imposed and replace it with a sentence of 18 months imprisonment.”

May 2014

Pervert former Canterbury sheriff Martin Fisher jailed for ‘arrogant disdain’ of law after breaching court orders

Martin Fisher

A former Sheriff of Canterbury is back behind bars – branded a pervert outlaw.

Ex-Tory councillor Martin Fisher admitted breaching orders made in the courts where he used to sit as a dignitary.

Now the 64-year-old convicted sex offender has been jailed for 28 months and told by a judge: “You have no regard for the law. You think you know better. You have shown arrogant disdain for the orders of this court and for the law.”

Fisher, of Queens Road, Whitstable, was jailed in 2011 for sexually assaulting a child and downloading illegal images of children.

He was also told that for 10 years his computer would be checked regularly by police to ensure they could see what internet sites he had been accessing.

Yet three times in just seven months, officers discovered he had secretly been viewing illicit images of naked children – including a baby and another child involved in bondage.

Prosecutor Donna East told Canterbury Crown Court that each time police seized Fisher’s computer for forensic examination, the former insurance boss just bought another one and carried on.

At his first trial, he claimed: “Some people like looking at Picasso… I like pictures of children with no clothes on.”

But Judge Adele Williams dismissed his “artistic” claims and told him: “You are deluding yourself… you have a perverted interest in sex with children.

“And you persisted in doing this knowing full well you were in breach of your Sexual Offences Prevention Order and you were in breach of the law.”

Fisher looked towards the public gallery as the judge told him he failed to understand “the very great mischief” of downloading illegal images.

She told him: “These images are of real children being exploited, being subjected to real sexual acts. And while there are people like you prepared to download such images this evil trade will continue.”

Fisher had admitted breaching his SOPO and accessing images – at the lowest level one, but two at levels three and the highest level five.

Ms East said in June 2013 two officers went to his home to check Fisher’s computer.

But as they waited to be allowed in, Fisher deleted the computer’s record of what sites he had accessed and then denied knowing he was under any court restrictions.

He was bailed while experts examined the computer, later discovering 21 illegal images.

The prosecutor said police returned in September last year and Fisher admitted buying himself another computer that revealed another 20 images under examination.

In January this year, police again arrived at his home unannounced and found yet another computer containing 10 more images.

Fisher tried to claim he had deleted the computers’ histories because he feared his banking details would be accessed.

The former sheriff also claimed he was searching sites because he was planning to go on a naturist holiday – but could not explain why all the pictures were of naked children.

Oliver Saxby QC, defending, pleaded for a non-custodial sentence so Fisher could tackle his sex problems.

He said that an intensive sex offenders’ course offered a “real chance of him sorting himself out”.

Mr Saxby added: “He has a problem. He has a sexual attraction towards children, although in the past he has been in denial about his feelings. He now wants to make changes to his life.”

April 2014

Conservative councillor & Ex-Sheriff of Canterbury faces jail AGAIN after admitting possessing offensive child images

Ex-Sheriff of Canterbury Martin Fisher has admitted breaching a Sex Offender’s Prevention Order.

The 64-year-old former Conservative councillor now faces a possible jail sentence after also pleading guilty to possessing illegal images of children.

Fisher, of Queens Road, Whitstable. who was described by his own lawyer as “an arrogant man lacking in empathy”, will be sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court next month.

The images and words relating to searches for pictures of children were found on his computer following a visit from police in July last year.

Fisher, who was granted bail until the next hearing, had deleted his computer’s Internet history on in breach of an earlier SOPO.

That followed him being jailed three years ago for indecently assaulting a youngster and downloading illegal images.

Fisher, who had run his own insurance business in Sittingbourne, told one police officer after his arrest: “Some people like Picasso. I like pictures of children with no clothes on.”

The paedophile later pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault, three of which were against a girl under 13, and possessing and making indecent images of children  including one depicting sado-masochism on a child.

Three additional offences of indecent assault on a child under 14 will remain on file. 

Judge Adele Williams, in jailing him for 15 months, told him he had a “deviant sexual interest in children” who had shown no insight about the effect on his victim.

February 2014

Conservative councillorEx-Sheriff of Canterbury in dock on child AGAIN on child indecency charges

A FORMER Sheriff of Canterbury placed on the sex offenders’ register appeared in court on Friday accused of more offences.

Martin Fisher, who served as a Conservative councillor for Tankerton from 1995 to 2003 and 2007 to 2011, withheld his plea at Canterbury Magistrates Court and will next appear at the city’s crown court.

The 64-year-old grandfather, of Queens Road, Whitstable, is facing 10 charges of making and possessing indecent images of children, and breaching his sexual offences prevention order by deleting his internet history.

Prosecuting, Neil Sweeney said Fisher had been monitored by the North Kent Visor Unit, the specialist sex offenders’ unit.

He said: “As part of this in June a visit has commenced at the home address. He was asked if he understood the sexual offences prevention order and he said he did.

“His computer was searched using a specialist search which is a USB stick that searches for images and key words.

“While the search was in progress, he admitted he had deleted his internet history that morning. Images were recovered from that search.”

Further images were also recovered in September and January after further specialist searches. Most were of the least serious nature, but one is classed as level five, defined as “sadism or involving the penetration of, or by, an animal” and one is level three.

Fisher is charged with making more than 40 images between his original conviction in 2011 and June 2013, of which one was the most serious level.

He is also charged with possessing prohibited and indecent images, and making more than 30 images between June 2013 and September 2013. Four of those were level three, “non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children”.

Between September and January he is charged with possessing indecent images and the final charge is deleting his internet history, breaching his sexual offences order in June 2013.

Fisher, who previously described himself as a former naturist, admitted five charges of sexual assault on a woman and a young girl in 2011, as well as possessing or downloading indecent images of children. At the time he said he had only pleaded guilty to avoid a trial and said: “We are all victims.”

He claimed in 2011 he had read “erotic stories” and “used the internet inappropriately”. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and must stay on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

July 2011

Whitstable ‘art’ excuse paedophile Martin Fisher jailed

A PAEDOPHILE who described his collection of indecent images of children as ‘art’ has been jailed for 15 months after admitting a string of child sex offences.

Ex councillor Martin Fisher, of Queens Road, Whitstable, was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court today after earlier pleading guilty to five counts of sexual assault, three of which were against a girl under 13, and possessing and making indecent images of children.

Three additional offences of indecent assault on a child under 14 will remain on file.

When initially questioned by police, the 61-year-old denied the sexual assaults but admitted accessing and printing indecent images of children and paedophilic stories.

Fisher told officers he did not accept the material was indecent, insisting that it was artistic.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Richard Allen said: “When Fisher was arrested and interviewed he admitted accessing and printing the images and stories but he said he didn’t accept they were indecent – he felt they were artistic.

“In fact he said during the course of one interview, ‘Some people like Picasso. I like pictures of children with no clothes on.’”

Fisher was arrested after a 15-month investigation by the East Kent Public Protection Unit, based at Canterbury Police Station.

Det Con Allen said: “We arrested Fisher in April 2010 after one of his victims reported the offences. During the course of the investigation computers, video cameras and cameras were seized from Fisher’s home in Whitstable and his business address in Sittingbourne.

“We found indecent images of children and paedophilic stories that had been downloaded from the internet on both on his home and business computers. Paper copies of indecent images were found in the office at his home and copies of paedophilic stories were discovered underneath his bedside cabinet.”

Throughout police interviews Fisher denied the sexual assaults but changed his plea to guilty at a court hearing on Monday, June 20.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, head of CID at East Kent, paid tribute to Fisher’s victims, who, he said, had been prepared to give evidence against Fisher, should there have been a trial.

He added: “Throughout the investigation Fisher refused to accept he was sexually interested in children, despite using search engines on his computers to look for sites specifically involving sex with children. He maintained that indecent pictures and explicit paedophilic stories were ‘art’.

“He has also since claimed he pleaded guilty to save his victims the trauma of going to court and that he was also a victim in the case.

“We wholeheartedly dispute that. Hopefully, following today’s sentence, he now understands that this behaviour is not acceptable and the only victims in this case are the people he sexually assaulted.

“I also hope the case shows other victims that Kent Police will do everything in its power to bring offenders like Fisher to justice.”

Alongside the 15 month sentence Fisher will stay on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

He was also given a sexual offences prevention order, banning him from working with children for 10 years.