Child porn grandad ruling

2014-11-12 00:00

A 77-YEAR-OLD Pietermaritzburg grandfather caught with 331 images of child pornography received a three-year suspended sentence yesterday.

Child interest groups reacted with horror to the sentence imposed on Anthony Moyes.

Jackie Branfield, founder of BobbiBear, which pledges to “rescue and uphold the rights of sexually abused children”, said: “I am so tired of people thinking because a man looks at child pornography he’s not actually committing a crime. The children in those pictures have been abused. Child pornography is disgusting … Those pictures are in circulation forever.”

Dumi Nala, national executive officer of Childline SA, agreed the sentence was “disappointing”, while Julie Todd, director of Child Welfare Pietermaritzburg, said any sentence that doesn’t involve incarceration of a sex offender should only be given if he or she is regarded as a candidate for therapy, and this should be part of the sentence.

Moyes, a state pensioner and grandfather, pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Regional Magistrate Bhekizitha Phoswa in terms of a plea and sentencing agreement brokered between the State and defence attorney Anthony Irons.

Moyes told the magistrate he was “ashamed” of his actions and accepts he broke the law. He admitted accessing 331 images depicting child pornography.

“Certain images were saved onto the computer and the other images I merely just looked at while surfing the web,” he said.

A mitigating factor raised was that Moyes spent seven days in jail before getting bail and was assaulted and robbed by his cell-mates.

The court also heard Moyes “suffers from impotency problems that medication has not cured”.

“The accused admits his foolishness in attempting to treat this condition by resorting to possessing and viewing pornographic images. The possession of pornographic images was not used for purposes of grooming children, for displaying these images to any other person or using children or benefiting from child pornography,” it was said.

Moyes said his possession of the images was for personal use and he does not represent a danger to children.

His plea stated he is “contrite and acknowledges his responsibility to rehabilitate himself and undertakes to desist from accessing pornography of any nature from any source whatsoever”.

Phoswa warned Moyes that he’d go to jail if he is found in possession of child pornography again.

He said courts had to balance the interests of society, the offender and the crime.

In this case, he took into account that although Moyes possessed quite a number of images, they were “not used to hurt a child”.

Owning up to his crimes was a step towards rehabilitation, he added.

The court was told Moyes is getting divorced and lives alone in a home for the aged. A father of four daughters and nine grandchildren, he’s supported by a state pension.

A fellow of the British and South African Institutes of Management, he holds two diplomas and previously “maintained an impressive employment record”.

“The accused accepts that his actions have caused lasting harm between himself and his family, and is penitent for the public embarrassment and hurt that his actions and his appearance in a criminal court have caused them,” said Irons.

He said Moyes had enjoyed a “good and honest standing in the community” and the case has caused him a “public shaming and fall from grace”.

Nala said it could not be said that no child was harmed by pornographic images being accessed via the Internet.

Even if the accused did not have direct contact with the children concerned, those images were produced for people like him, she said, adding that young people are especially vulnerable as they don’t appreciate the consequences of sending inappropriate images to friends, which could fall into the wrong hands.

“We would have liked to see a harsher sentence, which would send a message that viewing images of child pornography is a serious crime.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.