WhatsApp ‘snake porn’ prosecution questioned by judge

1 107075591 mediaitem107075586 - WhatsApp 'snake porn' prosecution questioned by judge
Swindon Crown CourtImage copyright Google
Image caption Mark Glew pleaded guilty to possessing six “grossly offensive” movies and four photos

A judge has questioned whether prosecuting a man who was sent “snake porn” via a WhatsApp messaging group was in the public interest.

Former rugby coach Mark Glew, 22, was one of 44 members who received the “grossly offensive” movies and photos.

Glew admitted possessing extreme pornography, including images of bestiality involving a snake and a cow.

Sentencing at Swindon Crown Court, Judge Robert Pawson asked whether the case had been worth pursuing.

He told the court that in “light of all the circumstances” it seemed to him that a “sledgehammer” had been used “to crack a very small nut indeed”.

The court heard Glew had been arrested in November 2017 over an unrelated allegation, which was later dropped.

During investigations, police found material “portraying an act which resulted, or was likely to result in, serious injury to a person’s anus and genitals” on his phone.

Carl Buckley, defending, said Glew had joined the WhatsApp group to get details of upcoming matches and players.

‘Immoral and filthy’

Passing sentence, Judge Pawson said Glew “did not solicit” the images and said he would have deleted them if he had known they were illegal.

The judge stressed he did not want to downplay the images, which were “illegal to download, distribute or possess”.

But “however immoral and filthy” the material was, he said, it had involved “consenting adults doing things to themselves” and “no-one has been exploited”.

“One suspects that images such as these are probably widely available and circulated in WhatsApp groups,” he said.

“In light of all the circumstances, one wonders whether or not it was in the public interest to charge you.”

Glew, of Hatherley, Yate, admitted six offences which took place between 4 October 2016 and 4 November 2017.

He was given a one-month conditional discharge.

Back to: Home Gloucestershire News

Help us share

You may also like...

HAVE A QUICK QUESTION?

Simply fill our short form and we will contact you back asap.




X
CONTACT US