Salt in the wounds of victims of childhood sexual abuse, what message is this sending out to those who choose to aid and abet the rape of innocent children? I am disgraced at the lenient sentences passed down by Judge Peter Ross!
Eton student who shared ‘appalling’ abuse photos from his dorm computer of children as young as two being raped is SPARED jail
Andrew Picard had 2,000 indecent images of children on his computer
Top lawyer’s son sat in college dormitory sharing pictures in chat rooms
Was caught aged 17 sharing material with an undercover police officer
He admitted child porn charges but was given suspended jail sentence
A former Eton College student avoided jail today despite making and distributing ‘appalling’ indecent images of children and bestiality film clips.
Andrew Picard, from Westminster, London, was found with more than 2,000 pornographic images of children on his computer at the prestigious school near Windsor, Berkshire.
The 18-year-old son of a top lawyer sat in his college dormitory sharing the pictures in chat rooms and was 17 when he was caught sharing material with an undercover police officer.
Picard, who was arrested at Eton after his IP address was traced there, admitted ten counts of child pornography – and at Oxford Crown Court was today handed a ten-month prison term, suspended for 18 months.
He was let off jail after being credited for his work with doctors in the past year to address his offending – but this was said to be a perk of his privileged position.
The offences dated from January to February last year when Picard made indecent images of youngsters and shared them via chat messages on Skype.
Thousands of images and clips were found on Picard’s computer and hard drive that showed acts so appalling that Judge Peter Ross could not bring himself to describe them.
Others showed children as young as two being raped and forced to have sex with dogs.
Cathy Olliver, prosecuting, said the undercover officer had entered a ‘teen’ chatroom, for those aged between 13 and 19 years, on February 9, 2015, when he was contacted by a user called ‘AP16MUK’ – standing for Andrew Picard, aged 16, male, from the UK.
Picard messaged the undercover officer asking: ‘Do you want to see pics of boys and girls your age, nude?’
Boasting of having hundreds of videos, Picard added the officer on Skype and shared indecent images of a boy aged ten and girls aged eight and 14 years.
Asking the undercover officer for proof he was aged 14 years as he said and not some ‘old’ man, Picard later shared a video of his own face.
‘His IP address led police to Eton school in Berkshire where staff were able to identify him as a pupil,’ Ms Olliver said. ‘He was arrested from school on suspicion of distributing indecent photographs of children.’
Picard admitted one count of possessing indecent pictures of children, one count of making indecent pictures of children and eight counts of distributing indecent photos or recordings of a child.
Detectives found 1,185 indecent images and videos on his computer and on hard-drives seized from his school dormitory.
They also discovered chat logs from the chatrooms where Picard boasted about the ‘quality’ of his videos and asked users who claimed to be as young as 14 to exchange naked shots of themselves for indecent videos he would provide.
Ms Olliver said it was a feature of Picard’s offending that he would send images in return for the user to strip, showing him their ‘underarm or groin’.
She added: ‘There are aggravating features, the children are very young, in obvious pain and distress, and the number of photographs distributed.’
Dressed in jeans, trainers and a navy jumper, brown-haired Picard squeezed his eyes shut as Judge Peter Ross described some of the vile Category A material found in his possession.
One of his videos showed a girl as young as three being raped, while others showed young children being forced to have sex with dogs.
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, QC referred to her client’s remorse and pointed to the good work he had been doing with doctors in the past year, undergoing constant treatment with numerous doctors and psychiatrists.
‘This is a young and very able man who has hopes for the future,’ she added. ‘He was able to have this opportunity [to seek help] and this was something Andrew sought for himself, by himself.’
Sparing Picard jail, Judge Ross said a term of custody would undo the good work he had done in the past year undergoing extensive counselling.
He said: ‘This defendant Andrew Picard was a privileged young man. His family are clearly wealthy enough to send him to school in Eton.
‘Quite how you found your way into this unpleasant world Mr Picard, the world of chatrooms and exchanging this material, is not clear to me.
‘Why you did it doctors and others have sought to explain – the emotional difficulties you had, issues around your sexuality.’
However he blasted all those who deal in child sexual exploitation, saying they were not ‘victimless crimes.’
‘All too often in these courts we see the internet and chatrooms providing a degree of assumed detachment in terms of what is said and the material that is viewed.
‘Please make no bones about it, these are children, some of them very tiny, and they are being abused and tortured simply to provide sexual gratification, mainly, to adult males.
‘All over the world, too often in the third world, children being made objects of the most appalling abuse.
‘It forms a currency and you played a part in that. You were seeking to obtain your own sexual gratification.’
A mental health treatment requirement was added to his sentence for 18 months, which will continue with his existing providers. He was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was ordered to pay £1,200 in prosecution costs.
Picard’s wealthy family live in prime real estate next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. His father is a managing partner in the London office of a large American corporate law firm.
The judge added: ‘It has been said that you and your family have suffered deeply as a result of your arrest and public exposure.
‘Your family didn’t deserve that but it is a consequence of this sort of offending. Inevitably your privileged background and where you were going to school added a degree of frissance to the reporting.’
Andrew Picard is using his mum’s maiden name as his father is a top Westminster Lawyer, nothing wrong with this unless you happen to be a ‘normal person’ our justice system is fast becoming a 2 tier system, one for the privileged and one for the rest of us
please sign my petition to have this sentence overturned