April 2008

Grandmother described pornography to blind husband

A GRANDMOTHER who hoarded a vast library of hardcore pornography escaped a jail sentence today for downloading child abuse films.

Sylvia Pearce was told that as she has to care for her blind husband – to whom she would describe the graphic scenes – her sentence of eight months would be suspended.

The 59-year-old admitted three counts of making an indecent image of a child between January 2005 and February 2007 and the court heard she downloaded three films, one of which was called Lolita Love Child and another entitled Jake The Janitor.

The films showed scenes of children as young as eight engaging in sexual acts with adults and each other.

The three films were part of an vast library of hardcore adult pornography so large that the court was told it would be impossible to view it all.

When interviewed by police, Pearce, of Ivybridge, Devon, claimed she downloaded pornography “for a laugh” and would describe the films to her husband, who was not named in court.

In mitigation defending barrister Piers Norsworthy said this was a case of a naive woman who was “finding her way on the internet” but Judge Francis Gilbert QC rejected the claim.

Sentencing Pearce at Plymouth Crown Court he said: “I cannot accept that.

“She knew exactly what she was doing and this was utterly disgusting and depraved.

“Were it not for the fact of the age you are and you are caring for your husband I would send you immediately to prison.”

Pearce was sentenced to eight months in jail for each count to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to sign on to the sex offenders register.

Judge Gilbert said in his 30-year career he had never come across such a case telling Pearce: “You stand alone.”

Prosecuting barrister Paul Bitmead said the police were at Pearce’s home on an unrelated matter in February last year when they found a number of computer disks.

He told the court when analysed the films contained both hardcore adult pornography and films of child abuse.

Mr Bitmead said: “When interviewed by police she said there was no sexual motive behind her activities.

“She said she would play the discs to her husband ”for a laugh”.

In mitigation Mr Norsworthy said Pearce has grandchildren and the idea of child pornography was “abhorrent to her”.

He said: “The dozens and dozens of other videos she had of adult pornography would make it impossible to view them all.

“She would describe to her husband what was on the videos.

“She would leave the computer downloading and would store the videos unaware of what she was getting.

“The idea of child pornography is abhorrent to her.

“It has found its way on to her discs.”