Pervert jailed thanks to change in law

GUILTY: Joseph Duffy

GUILTY: Joseph Duffy

First published in News
Last updated

A PERVERT who started downloading indecent images of children shortly after being jailed for having sex with a schoolgirl was last night (July 7) back behind bars.

James Clarkson was locked up under tough new sentencing guidelines which were introduced after The Northern Echo launched its Keep Kids Safe campaign.

The 52-year-old paedophile was told by a judge at Teesside Crown Court that he had failed to learn his lesson from his earlier conviction.

Clarkson, from Redcar, east Cleveland, was on the sex offenders' register and was monitored by public protection officers as a result of his jailing in 2004.

The filth he had downloaded from the internet was found during a visit in 2010 - two years after he was rapped for not telling police he had moved house.

In a separate case later, the same judge told another paedophile: "There appears to be a thought about that these are victimless offences - but they are not.

"Every image that is downloaded involves the exploitation or corruption of a child. Some are very young, and their lives are damaged and blighted permanently."

Judge Peter Bowers told former coach driver Clarkson: "It is quite clear from your history that you continue to have an unhealthy interest in young girls."

The Echo called for tougher sentences for indecent images offenders and changes to an anomaly in the law which allowed many to walk free from court.

The campaign wants to see an end to cases where only those who are jailed for more than four years will get access to the treatment they need behind bars.

Clarkson's barrister Peter Makepeace tried to argue that a sex offender course in the community was a better way to deal with him than prison.

Mr Makepeace said: "In reality, the actual period served will be relatively brief, and, clearly, far too brief for any sort of meaningful intervention while incarcerated."

In a separate case, Joseph Duffy dodged prison despite sharing his sick collection of pictures - because of his age and that he had never been in trouble before.

A trans-Atlantic investigation revealed that the 19-year-old student was found to have spent at least two years swapping images with other paedophiles.

Duffy, of Kimble Drive, Thornaby, near Stockton, was put under supervision and was ordered to go on the sex offender treatment programme.

The new punishments were introduced in April - nine months after the launch of the campaign - and disregards how many images have been created.

Duffy was also given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after he admitted distributing and possessing indecent images of children.

Judge Bowers told him: "You are a very lucky young man. Just before you in the dock was a man who had previous convictions. He went through the door to the cells."

Andrew White, mitigating, said: "He has made catastrophic errors. He clearly recognises he has a problem, and he desperately wants help with it."

On a variety of computer memory sticks, Duffy had 21 images of boys as young as nine engaged in sex with adults, prosecutor Christopher Rose said.

He first came to the attention of authorities in the US for sharing his pictures, and they alerted colleagues in the UK.

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