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No defence or mitigation offered by my defence solicitor on indecent images charge.


No defence or mitigation offered by my defence solicitor on indecent...

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J J
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Our Alfie - 5 Dec 19 3:27 PM
Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?









I've had the same conversation with 3 solicitors, they have you bang to rights. It doesn't matter if its deleted or not, its also the same if its a pop up window. If a pop up appears with underage children then you're effectivly guilty.

As a side note - I read an article on the daily mail website about an obesse child. Before putting a comment I googled "average weight of an 11 year old". I had monitoring software that captured screens and key strokes (future digital). The next day I was arrested and questioned over this search, the CPS stated in court this proved a contact offence was imminent. I was questioned by the police, probation and a forensic psychiatrist.

After getting my dad to google for the article and find my comment that started with "just googled it he is overweight..." they dropped this. 
JASB
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TheWeird1 - 24 Feb 20 11:51 AM
Hi Zack

I was in a similar position I had only 2 Cat A images. 

I found the magistrates worse than the Crown Court because:

- They took too long to process me.

- The legal clerk was no use in finding paperwork.

- The CPS credit where its due and they are to present the facts, and tarnish you the did state I had a good character etc but they said they did have a SHPO and they couldn't find it.

- The Judges despite after being asked for a presentence report, still felt that the crown court could only deal with me.

When I went to Crown the first thing the Judge said was "The magistrates could have dealt with this but here we are". 

I find the issue in itself usually with the police, because I had been accused of an unrelated matter and volunteered my own mobile for forensics, and they still proceeded to scan after my ex decided to drop the charges; Equally, they aren't so forthcoming with returning an item of mine either.

Hi
I do hope I have understood your words correctly so my response is valid.
In regard to timeframes I am not sure what you are benchmarking it to: It took me 5 months to get to magistrates.
Who was going to create the pre-sentence report for the magistrates court as I believe they would be done by Probation after guilty plea/post trial conviction?
The police/CPS who visited me 4 days before sentencing - after 2 years on bail and many visits - told me I would not be going to prison. I got 4 years.
In regard to returning kit by the Police, when I was arrested they took my step fathers PC, even though I did not live there - my car was registered for that address so long story.
Anyway it took much chasing and 7 months for me to get all my IT equipment back - nothing was found.
Your ex dropping the charges does not matter as that only gave them access and they found the images which would enable them to continue with their investigations into the new offence. 
Finally the Judge praised me verbally - in my presence - for my honesty and remorse. he then dismissed the Probation Office report which suggested 30 months supervisory and gave me 4 years with a life time SOR!!

As ever do not see my words as being offensive but more of suggesting that the information presented to you by solicitors did not quite match the reality of the processes.
I wish you good luck and please do not think of me being to cynical - its just one of those days...



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Hi Zack

I was in a similar position I had only 2 Cat A images. 

I found the magistrates worse than the Crown Court because:

- They took too long to process me.

- The legal clerk was no use in finding paperwork.

- The CPS credit where its due and they are to present the facts, and tarnish you the did state I had a good character etc but they said they did have a SHPO and they couldn't find it.

- The Judges despite after being asked for a presentence report, still felt that the crown court could only deal with me.

When I went to Crown the first thing the Judge said was "The magistrates could have dealt with this but here we are". 

I find the issue in itself usually with the police, because I had been accused of an unrelated matter and volunteered my own mobile for forensics, and they still proceeded to scan after my ex decided to drop the charges; Equally, they aren't so forthcoming with returning an item of mine either.
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Our Alfie - 5 Dec 19 3:27 PM
Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?









In theory it's possible to mount an appeal, if your solicitor did not give you complete legal advice, I think it's a strong test though, and I guess an expensive one too. A guilty plea makes things harder. The system doesn't want to open the floodgates. I think the odds are stacked against you.  But only an experienced solicitor who knows this area and is experienced in appeals could advise. I found this: http://doughty-street-chambers.newsweaver.com/Appeals/mckaqv7xihm?a=1&p=698889&t=174031
I'd be interested to know how you get on. My partner has a similar conviction, and was given a rather badly written streamlined forensics report the day before the plea hearing (despite being produced many months before). We have been considering getting legal advice about an appeal - but unsure if it is a fight that is worth fighting.

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Wise words from others there, but just on the original point. I don't think it would have helped your case to say the images were deleted. One of the aggravating factors in sentencing is attempting, or being seen as attempting, to destroy evidence or to cover your tracks. The judge could have viewed it as more serious, if they interpreted it that way. I believe there is a defence if you can show you deleleted an image very, very quickly after it was downloaded, but because you had other images apart from that one, you would still be guilty of possession. Whether you viewed the image or not, is immaterial and the onus is on you to prove you didn't view it, not on them to prove you did!   There is almost no way for anybody to beat the possession laws in court, because they are strict liability offences, so pleading guilty at the first hearing is almost always advised.

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Our Alfie - 6 Dec 19 7:32 AM
JASB - 5 Dec 19 3:47 PM
Our Alfie - 5 Dec 19 3:27 PM
Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?









Hi
In brief mitigation decisions by solicitor rely on what can be proved or cast doubt on the prosecution's case.  The CPS are there to word charges in a manner that will get the verdict 'they' want so will not offer any escape routes for you.
Remember their position in regards to being viewed by society. 
However and possibly more importantly you pleaded guilty to the charges and your solicitor in his speech prior to the Judge giving sentence may have felt mentioning could of created more damage to your case e.g. you are trying to deny.
I appreciate it may sound weird / illogical but that is the legal logic. 
My 'victim' actually sent 'blackmail' text messages which both the Police and my solicitor were aware of. As I pleaded guilty they were not used in mitigation.

Sorry but you will know you cannot appeal now unless you have new evidence, the solicitor will of moved on and forgot you.
My advice is to concentrate on the now and future. Accept what you cannot change so work on the future as that is what you can shape.
Good luck

Thank you so much for your reply.  It has helped to just be able to discuss my situation. 

Kind regards

Hi
I am glad I am able to add words that you see as supportive.
As Mr W mentioned there are various books to possibly offer ways to allow you to move forward.
One I started reading was by Paul Gilbert called the Compassionate Mind.
It helps understand the way your brain works in a light yet informative way.

Keep going and visiting and you will be able to offer support and compassion to other - no matter their offence.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
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JASB - 5 Dec 19 3:47 PM
Our Alfie - 5 Dec 19 3:27 PM
Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?









Hi
In brief mitigation decisions by solicitor rely on what can be proved or cast doubt on the prosecution's case.  The CPS are there to word charges in a manner that will get the verdict 'they' want so will not offer any escape routes for you.
Remember their position in regards to being viewed by society. 
However and possibly more importantly you pleaded guilty to the charges and your solicitor in his speech prior to the Judge giving sentence may have felt mentioning could of created more damage to your case e.g. you are trying to deny.
I appreciate it may sound weird / illogical but that is the legal logic. 
My 'victim' actually sent 'blackmail' text messages which both the Police and my solicitor were aware of. As I pleaded guilty they were not used in mitigation.

Sorry but you will know you cannot appeal now unless you have new evidence, the solicitor will of moved on and forgot you.
My advice is to concentrate on the now and future. Accept what you cannot change so work on the future as that is what you can shape.
Good luck

Thank you so much for your reply.  It has helped to just be able to discuss my situation. 

Kind regards
Mr W
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Our Alfie - 5 Dec 19 3:27 PM
Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?

First of all, welcome and I’m sorry to hear you’ve no doubt had a very stressful three years. I can assure you that you’re not alone here.

As a first time offender, I was also shocked at how much is and isn’t said on the day of sentencing, certainly not helped by press coverage. Only you know truthfully the extent of the offending but the phrase - which is like nails on a blackboard for me - is "we are where we are".

As JASB points out you admitted the charges and, while I don’t know what sentence you received, I would wonder how different would the sentence have been if you did fight the detail you mention after pleading guilty? The sentencing is loosely pretty similar for everyone, ‘that’ register for 5 - 10 years, an order for a similar number of years, a community order or a short jail term often suspended and a programme to attend. An approach which consistently ruins people’s lives to all sorts of extents without tackling any of the many issues at play.

It will take time to come down from all the stress you’ve had to deal with since January 2017. Moving forward, I can’t recommend specialist talking therapies enough such as private therapy, Lucy Faithful Foundation etc (and this forum), it's important to hold on to the people you have in your life and, although the future may not be easy, know that the worst is over with. Stay strong.



=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
10 Months Ago by Mr W
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Our Alfie - 5 Dec 19 3:27 PM
Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?









Hi
In brief mitigation decisions by solicitor rely on what can be proved or cast doubt on the prosecution's case.  The CPS are there to word charges in a manner that will get the verdict 'they' want so will not offer any escape routes for you.
Remember their position in regards to being viewed by society. 
However and possibly more importantly you pleaded guilty to the charges and your solicitor in his speech prior to the Judge giving sentence may have felt mentioning could of created more damage to your case e.g. you are trying to deny.
I appreciate it may sound weird / illogical but that is the legal logic. 
My 'victim' actually sent 'blackmail' text messages which both the Police and my solicitor were aware of. As I pleaded guilty they were not used in mitigation.

Sorry but you will know you cannot appeal now unless you have new evidence, the solicitor will of moved on and forgot you.
My advice is to concentrate on the now and future. Accept what you cannot change so work on the future as that is what you can shape.
Good luck

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
Our Alfie
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Hi

This may have been covered in earlier posts if so I apologise.

In January 2017 my house was searched and devices taken by police. I was arrested and interviewed about indecent images of children. My lap top was analysed by the police who discovered 13 indecent images of which only 1 ( which was a Cat A) had been deleted and were, according to the police inaccesible.
 
On the advice of my solicitor I entered a guilty plea at the magistrates court because I was told by.my solicitor that as the images were on my PC I was guilty of making images ( three charges of making indecent images of a child). I was advised that if I went to trial and was found guilty my punishment would be more severe, ( custody could not be ruled out)than if I had pleaded guilty and it was very likely the local press would report it.

On the day if sentencing the CPS read out the charges but ommitted to mention that all but 1 image had been deleted and that there was no evidence that I had viewed it.

I genuinely do not recall receiving anyninapropiate images. I used to enter sex chat rooms but never discussed children in an inapropriate manner. The CPS have asserted that I used code to discuss underage ( ridiculous). 


The point I wish to be considered and would welcome comments is should my solicitor have entered in my defence solicitor in mitigation that all but 1 image had been deleted and made inaccessible?









GO


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