You are NOT a paedophile’: What judge told man despite being found guilty of child porn offences after downloading 2,000 images
A judge has told a man who downloaded nearly 2,000 images of child porn that he cannot be classed as a paedophile.
Judge John Holt made the bizarre comment whilst presiding over the case of 34 year old Chris Gilland, who had amassed a staggering collection of indecent images which featured girls as young as two.
The US citizen, married with two young girls, faced imprisonment of up to three years for his offences.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that police raided his home on October 25th last year, seizing computers and hard drives that contained 1,835 indecent images and 34 videos.
Gilland had claimed that these were accidentally downloaded whilst viewing adult images and that he had planned to delete them.
However, Judge Holt let him walk free with a two-year community order after reading a pre-sentence report which had labelled him as a ‘voyeur’ as opposed to a paedophile.
Judge Holt’s decision has been condemned by child abuse charities.
Claude Knights, the CEO of child safety charity Kidscape told the Daily Mail that ‘the sheer number of images downloaded would certainly lead one to conclude predatory tendencies exist’.
Peter Saunders, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood added: ‘That’s a wonderful message to send to society, that someone who pays to watch children being abused is given a rap on the knuckles and told they are not a danger to children.’
‘This judge has given a very inappropriate, misguided, and quite alarming sentence’.
Mr Gilland is believed to be a former corporal in the US Marines, who was working at RAF Lakenheath, where the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing is based. A spokesman for the base has said that Gilland was no longer employed there and had been banned from the site.
Under the terms of the community order, Gilland will be monitored by the probation service and forced to take part in an international sex offenders programme.