A university tutor who was asked by parents to take photographs of their semi-naked children ended up being convicted of possessing child pornography.So, perfectly harmless, if a little tacky, but then, you can’t get arrested for bad taste (luckily). But then the busbodies decided to act:
Dr Marcus Phillips, 38, who also works as a photographer, creates portraits of fairies combining digital technology and the original photographs of his models.
He was asked by the parents of the two girls, aged 10 and 12, to create a portrait of them which involved taking close-up photographs of various parts of their bodies, which were then superimposed on top of each other, to create the fairy images. The girls' parents were present at some of the photo shoots.
However, when Phillips went to have the pictures developed at his local branch of Bonusprint, staff there became concerned about the images with showed the girls topless and alerted police, who arrested him.Well, easy to clear up? Just an overreaction? Well, no. Because despite this being perfectly above board, it apparently still falls under the child protection legislation:
Because of the girls' ages, the photographs fell under the legal definition of indecent images of children.No doubt only to avoid a lengthy trial, which no-one could blame him for, though it is indeed a pity that all the vocal campaigners for the ‘right’ to blaspheme and shock didn’t rally round to support him. It appears even the judge felt the law was a little overenthusiastic here:
Phillips, who has three children, pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to 150 hours community service by Judge Lawler QC, who said there was "never a sexual motive" for the photos.I don’t think you could ask for a clearer statement that the law is indeed an ass. Pity his Honour didn’t have the guts to throw out his guilty plea, set him free without a stain on his character, and tell the CPS they should never have brought the case to his court.
Passing sentence he added: "You always acted perfectly properly and their parents were perfectly law-abiding, sensible people who cared for their children.
"What is clear is that you had no base motive, no sexual motive and there was not any question of deriving sexual gratification from what you were doing."
Phillips, an administrator based in the University of Sheffield's Student Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing department, will not have to sign the sex offenders' register.
But then, who expects judges these days to do anything other than meekly follow the dictates of the government…?