Child porn pervert says: ‘I won’t do it again’

Mark Martin
Mark Martin

A CHILD porn pervert who was spared jail after being caught for a second time with sick pictures of young children today claimed: “I won’t do it again.”

Hartlepool man Mark Martin, 24, was controversially spared prison at Teesside Crown Court after admitting accessing vile images on his mobile and on his brother’s laptop without him knowing.

Martin was already on a suspended jail sentence for making indecent images when police found him with 48 still and moving images of child abuse, some in the worst category.

The court heard Martin has an “addiction” to accessing sick child porn, but Judge Peter Bowers gave him a suspended jail sentence as he believed Martin would “suffer very badly in prison”.

Last year, Judge Bowers caused public outrage for describing a serial burglar as “courageous” and sparing him a jail sentence.

The judge was criticised for his choice of words in September last year, which were branded a ‘serious error of judgement’, and the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice issued him with a reprimand after his remarks ‘damaged public confidence in the judicial process’.

In the latest case Judge Bowers gave Martin another suspended sentence, and told him: “This really is your last chance.”

But campaigners branded the most recent let-off as “remarkably short-sighted” and said the jobless shop worker should have been locked up.

Martin, of Dent Street, Hartlepool, got a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with probation service supervision after admitting to 11 charges of making indecent images and two of possession.

When approached Martin wouldn’t come to the door of his home but sheepishly leant out of the window.

He said: “I wouldn’t call it lenient, he did point out it was my last chance.

“Obviously I didn’t want to go to prison, but I went there fully expecting to.

“He said I couldn’t have coped in prison, but this is my definite last chance.

“I have definitely learned my lesson and won’t do it again.”

The National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) described the sentence as “strange by any standard”.

Acting operations manager, Dr Jon Bird, said: “This is a remarkably short-sighted decision in my opinion.

“We know that people who have this kind of problem need help to control it, but the sympathy should only go so far.

“Two suspended sentences in a row is strange, by any standards.

“In prison this kind of offender would be segregated for his protection.

“I imagine he is at home laughing about how he fooled a judge.

“There has to be a strong deterrent enforced on these criminals who cause so much pain to their victims.”

In 2009, he was given a similar punishment and was ordered to go on a sex offenders’ treatment programme to cure his “addiction”.

A Sexual Offences Prevention Order was also made which banned him from putting anti-forensic software on his computers which would hide his internet history.