Magician ‘obsessed’ with child abuse images claims he only download vile images for ‘research’
A CHILDREN’S magician “obsessed” with child sexual abuse images claimed he only downloaded more than 200 vile images onto his computer for “research” purposes.
Sex offender Jason Packer was caught by police with child sexual abuse images involving children as young as five-years-old.
Incredibly, the 47-year-old argued he was simply “researching” into an appeal against his 2015 conviction, when he was jailed for also downloading similar sick pictures.
Two years ago Packer was jailed for 12 months after police discovered the child porn and he claimed “special agents working for a local MP had planted the images on his computer”.
Now, Portsmouth Crown Court, Hants, heard he was found with 124 category A images, the most serious class, and 85 extreme pornographic pictures on his computer.
Prosecutor Jeffrey Lamb told Portsmouth Crown Court the children’s magician was a man “obsessed” with child and extreme pornography.
Mr Lamb told the court an IT expert had uncovered the images in an area which was not easily accessible without forensic equipment.
Summing up, he said the defendant’s claims he was simply researching to appeal his 2015 conviction were a lie, describing it as a red herring to throw off his true intention.
Mr Lamb said: “He says he is obsessed with this ‘miscarriage of justice’.
“I say he is obsessed with child pornography and extreme pornography.”
The images were discovered when police visited Packer’s home as part of his sex offender’s register conditions.
When they spotted he had a new computer, they immediately had it checked and found the pictures.
During the trial, the children’s entertainer, from Portsmouth, told the court he had not looked at the images, simply saved the URL as part of his appeal research.
He said: “I was researching the images and I wanted to show proof they had been misdescribed in court during the previous trial.”
Packer, who maintained his innocence throughout the trial, was convicted of one count of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing images of extreme pornography.
Judge Linda Sullivan QC sentenced Packer to 18-months in jail, suspended for two years.
She also placed an 8pm to 8am curfew on him and ordered him to complete 20 days of rehabilitation. His computer was also confiscated and will be destroyed.
Following the sentencing, Wessex district crown prosecutor Sarah Dineley said: “Jason Packer’s behaviour is simply shocking.
“He knew very well that possessing extreme pornography and making indecent images of children were crimes.
“During his first trial the jury at Portsmouth Crown Court heard how far-fetched Jason Packer’s defence was: He claimed special agents working for a local MP had planted the images on his computer.
“When he was arrested for these new offences, he said he was researching the images for which he had been convicted, completely ignoring the fact that he was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
“Jason Packer and others who decide to commit these despicable crimes contribute to the sexual abuse of children.”
‘Anti-paedophile & justice campaigner’ jailed for possession of child abuse images
DISGRACED justice campaigner and self-proclaimed anti-paedophile Jason Packer has been jailed over child abuse images and extreme pornography.
The children’s entertainer fought his prosecution until the very end of the £2,800 court case but is now in a cell starting a one-year sentence.
Packer, 45, instructed his barrister to tell a judge it was a ‘miscarriage of justice’ and he should not be sentenced.
But jailing him for 12 months, Recorder Frank Abbott said Packer being a ‘staunch campaigner’ combined with his conviction was a ‘worrying paradox’.
The extreme pornography was branded ‘absolutely disgusting’ by the judge and depicted women being raped and killed. The abuse images included children aged between five and 10.
He said: ‘At the end of the day, before me is a man who purports to be a person against child pornography, a person who is someone who is against corruption of politicians, various types of child abuse, and has got images of the same on his computer.
‘It seems to me there really isn’t any excuse whatsoever.’
He added: ‘I hope by the time you’ve served it you will have come to your senses about this situation and realise perhaps it’s time to move on and not get in this situation again.’
During his Portsmouth Crown Court trial Packer said former Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock and police planted the images on his Asus tower computer in revenge for him uploading and sharing a report about the MP.
Mr Abbot said: ‘From the jury’s verdict, that simply wasn’t possible.’
The leaked Pascoe report was compiled by Nigel Pascoe QC into allegations about Mr Hancock’s behaviour with a constituent.
Packer uploaded the document, named ‘Explosive Hidden Hancock File’, on file-sharing software where the abuse images were found, a jury heard.
Giving evidence, Packer, a former Justice and Anti-Corruption party candidate, claimed the abuse images were planted but the court heard he had been identified by authorities before he uploaded the file.
Mr Hancock later apologised for forging an inappropriate friendship with a female constituent, who cannot be named. He was never prosecuted.
Mr Abbott said: ‘It seemed to me that the defence he was putting forward, that he’d been targeted because of the Pascoe report could not have been true because of the dates involved.’
The judge said the case, prosecuted by Philip Meredith, had attracted ‘notoriety’ as the jury had to view the images to come to a verdict and because of Packer’s defence.
He added he was not sentencing Packer based on his defence at the trial.
Jemima Ivens, for Packer, said: ‘I’m instructed by Mr Packer, he feels it’s a miscarriage of justice and this sentencing shouldn’t take place today.’
She added: ‘The pre-sentence report is of very little assistance, Mr Packer maintains his innocence and of course therefore isn’t able to demonstrate, in any positive way, remorse.’
She told the judge Packer had ‘exemplary good character’. He has no previous convictions.
Mr Abbott ordered the USB sticks to be destroyed but Packer’s Asus tower computer was forfeited not destroyed in case it is needed for an appeal.
Packer, of Balliol Road, Buckland, was handed a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years restricting his internet use and he must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
He was arrested on February 11 last year at his home. He was convicted of four counts of possessing extreme pornography and 13 counts of possessing indecent images of children after a six-day trial.
The judge handed him a six-month sentence for the extreme images and a 12-month sentence for the child abuse, to run concurrent to each other.
Children’s entertainer told he faces jail over child abuse images
CHILDREN’S entertainer Jason Packer has been criticised by a judge and warned he faces jail over having indecent images of children.
Packer, 45, was yesterday convicted of four counts of possessing extreme pornography and 13 counts of possessing indecent images of children after a six-day trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.
During the trial Packer, a former Justice and Anti-Corruption Party candidate, said police planted images on his computer and four USB sticks after his February 11 arrest at his home last year.
When he took the stand he told jurors former Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock’s agents had put the images on his computer after he uploaded the Pascoe report which was critical of the MP.
After the verdict the judge, Recorder Frank Abbott, dismissed Packer’s claims and said that ‘in this case you’ve made allegations against him, not only unfounded and unsupported, but utterly and totally incredible’.
Addressing barrister Philip Romans, he said: ‘It seems that your client is beyond any borders of reality.’
And before adjourning the case for sentence he told Packer: ‘Your case was not capable, in my view, of belief.
He said Packer had an ‘unhealthy interest’ in extreme pornography
He added: ‘You’ve had an opportunity for everything in this case to be examined in detail and I’m afraid the jury have not believed you.’
Mr Abbott said the likeliest outcome of a sentence would see Packer jailed immediately.
He added: ‘You haven’t pleaded guilty when it was obvious you did have control and custody of these images, you virtually admitted in your interview that you had downloaded them.’
Earlier in the trial Detective Sergeant Tim Plummer, the senior investigating officer, told prosecutor Philip Meredith an IP address – later linked to Packer – was first identified by intelligence on January 2.
He said Hampshire Constabulary applied to the internet service provider on January 13 for details of the account holder and received those on January 17 and then a warrant was sought.
He said police executed five warrants, including Packer’s, on February 11 as part of the Internet Watch Foundation’s day of action.
Packer had claimed he was targeted after uploading the report by Nigel Pascoe QC into allegations about Mr Hancock’s behaviour with a constituent. He put the file, named ‘Explosive Hidden Hancock File’, on file-sharing software where the images were found.
Mr Hancock later apologised for forging an inappropriate friendship with a female constituent, who cannot be named. He never faced a criminal prosecution.
When contacted about the trial Mr Hancock said: ‘It’s outrageous to suggest I had anything to do with it or the police did.
‘I wouldn’t have the first idea how to do it.’
The jury were forced to watch the images, some of them movies, because Packer denied the charges.
Yesterday a former JAC party member, who asked not to be named, said he was disgusted by Packer’s actions.
‘It’s destroyed the party,’ he added.
Outside the court Det Sgt Plummer told of the damage child images have on society.
He said: ‘Each indecent image of a child shows a victim being abused somewhere in the world.
‘The demand for these images fuels child abuse throughout the world and Hampshire Constabulary places prevention of child sexual exploitation as a force priority.
‘Its specialised team will pro-actively investigate the people trading on abuse.’
Packer, of Balliol Road, Buckland, must sign the sex offenders’ register. He was given bail but must live at his home.
Mr Abbott added: ‘I’m going to give him bail in the meantime bearing in mind his previous good character, even though I’m certainly going to send him to prison.’
Jurors took two hours and 33 minutes to convict Packer but did not reach a verdict on one of the counts of extreme pornography.
The judge ordered it to lie on the file.
‘You abused free speech, trial and representation’
THE judge heavily criticised Jason Packer, telling him he had ‘abused the privileges’ afforded to him in the trial.
Recorder Frank Abbott said: ‘Now in my view during this case you’ve had three major privileges.
‘The first is that you’ve had a jury trial.
‘So you’ve had a jury trial and you’ve had it in my view extremely fairly and you’ve been judged by 12 of your own fellow citizens.
‘The jury trial is probably one of the last real bastions of personal liberty in this country.
‘The second thing is you’ve been represented by a competent and experienced barrister who has conducted this case to the limit of his ability on your behalf.
‘That barrister has been paid by the taxpayer to represent you, they have his fees, which undoubtedly have been made more modest than the public generally understand.
‘The third privilege is you live in a country which allows you to have an extraordinary level, a civilised level, of free speech and that has enabled you in the course of this trial to put a defence which has involved accusing, making allegations, against a well-known public figure.
‘I’ve no doubt that Mr Hancock is used to criticism, justified or unjustified, but it seems to me that in this case you’ve made allegations against him not only unfounded and unsupported but utterly and totally incredible.
‘No right-minded person would believe that agents of Mr Hancock had put the abuse images on your PC because simply it wasn’t something, in my view, that is possible.
‘You’ve done that, you’ve been entitled to do it as you’ve had a fair trial.’
He added: ‘The result of it is that the press has been interested in your case.
‘The reporting of this case has been accurate and proper but it results in that [Mr Abbott lifted a copy of The News showing its front page] – the headline “Hancock’s agents put abuse images on to my PC”.
‘That’s what the public see.
‘It seems to me that in itself is something that follows from your abuse of the privileges to which I’ve referred to.’