Robul Hoque, 32, was unanimously convicted on six counts and cleared on three at Teesside Crown Court on Friday. The case involved downloading computer graphics that were part of an illustrated story involving child abuse and incest. The pictures were so realistic the jury concluded they looked like real photographs, although they involving no real children.
Judge Peter Bowers told Hoque, “the images effectively crossed the line as to what is illegal and what is lawfully permitted” saying “I think you’ll get some insight into the damage that children can suffer. This may be on the fringes of it but it’s still an entrance, a door into a very murky and distasteful world.”
Hoque received a community sentence with 18 months’ supervision and a requirement to attend an internet sex offenders’ treatment programme.
While this is the first case in the UK of a procession for downloading computer generated images, its not the first time that Teeside crown court has heard a landmark case of this nature. In 2006, Stafford Sven Tudor-Miles, 38, admitted five counts of attempting to make indecent, pseudo-photographs of children, at Teesside Crown Court. The court was told he used his technical know-how to digitally reduce the breast sizes and alter the genitals of nude women, making them look like girls
I have to say that i believe that this ruling was correct, and that when it comes to this kind of thing, whether images are real or computer generated its simply wrong. Thankfully these cases are extreme, but they make interesting legal history, in that any computer generated content and photo manipulated images may now be considered as being the same as actual photographs, and subject to the same laws and guidelines.