Man Claims He Didn’t Know He Downloaded Child Porn Because He Is Blind

“It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads."

Golden Lady Blind

Emmanuel Huybrechts/Wikimedia Commons

A UK man is claiming that the he did not know the porn he downloaded on his computer was of underage children because of his partial blindness.

The Mirror reports that Andrew Shaw, 44, of Lancashire, UK, was arrested earlier this month for possessing 71 indecent images of children. Twelve of them were reported to be of the worst possible kind.

However, he stood before the Blackpool Magistrates’ Court and claimed his blindness prevented him from being able to tell the age of the people in the images. His lawyer, Allan Cobain, stated, “This is an unusual case as my client is registered blind. He has no sight in one eye and only a small amount in the other.”

Shaw came into court with the aid of his guide dog, a black labrador retriever. He was accompanied by his wife, who is also blind and also has a guide dog. Cobain successfully convinced the magistrates to adjourn proceedings so that the Crown Prosecution Service could look at the file again with a view to giving his client a caution.

“It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads,” said Cobain. “He may think he is looking at 16-year olds.”

 

It seems unlikely that Shaw will get far with this line of defense. For one, even if he were to prove that Shaw thought the people appearing in these images were 16, he could still be prosecuted under an number of UK laws for possessing images of children of that age.

The police have been building the case for over a year, indicating that they believe they have a strong case.

Cobain has also said that he will indicate which charges his client will plead guilty to. Shaw is out on bail at the moment as he is considered a low flight risk.


Next, read about the priest who was caught with child porn and blamed it on God and poker losses. Then, learn about how over 100 victims of sexual abuse received settlements from the New York Archdiocese.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.
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