January 2018

Mother disgusted by justice system

A NEIGHBOUR of a man who admitted downloading films and pictures of child rape has expressed their disgust at the justice system after he was not sent straight to prison.

Robert Copeland, 39, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of having prohibited images.

He was handed a suspended sentence after the court heard he lacked ‘intellectual maturity’ and felt like he had ‘betrayed God’ when he downloaded 10 movies and 51 pictures in category A, depicting the most serious child abuse.

Harriet Knowles, who lives near Robert Copeland’s home on Chiminage Close, Marlborough, has blasted the judge’s decision, which lets him continue to live in the street alongside families with children.

The mother-of-two has bought rape alarms for her two children, aged 12 and 14, and says she has lost sleep knowing that the convicted paedophile lives so close to her family.

Mrs Knowles said: “I’m absolutely disgusted he’s walked free. I haven’t slept, I went into work but got sent home. I love living here and don’t want to leave my house but I’m in a blind panic.

Why were residents not told that there was a potential paedophile on the street? Property had been seized as far back as May.

“I feel totally let down by the justice system. I have emailed my estate agent because we would never be able to sell the house to another family with children. I’ve ordered rape alarms and I’ve ordered canary sensory alarms.”

Mrs Knowles is most worried about the safety of her own children, who walk to and from school on their own.

“They are of the age where we can leave them for a while if we were to go out. But what if he gets to my kids? I can’t live here now.

“My children walk to school every day but I can’t live with them always in my sight, how will they grow up if I was like that?”

Last week Copeland, 39, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one of having prohibited images. He was handed a suspended sentence after the court heard he lacked ‘intellectual maturity’ and felt like he had ‘betrayed God’ when he downloaded 10 movies and 51 pictures in category A, depicting the most serious child abuse.

Judge Robert Pawson told Copeland: “Anyone who downloads those images is contributing directly to the abuse of these children.

Some of those children were aged two or three.”He sHe was sentenced Copeland to a 12-month jail term suspended for two years with rehabilitation activity requirement and a sexual harm prevention order.

An NSPCC spokesman for South West England said: “The youngsters in these pictures and videos, a number of which fell into the most serious category of offending, are the victims of serious child abuse and the horrific experiences they endured for the images to be created should not be underestimated.

“Authorities and internet providers must do more to cut off the supply of these images and preventative approaches must also be developed to deter people from viewing this content in the first place.”

Passing sentence at Swindon crown court, Judge Robert Pawson told Copeland: “Anyone who downloads those images is contributing directly to the abuse of these children. Some of those children were aged two or three.”

He sentenced Copeland to a 12-month jail term suspended for two years with rehabilitation activity requirement and a sexual harm prevention order.

Advertisements