St Albans sculptor Jonathan Higgins convicted of seven child porn offences

Jonathan Higgins, a sculptor, was convicted at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday (22)

Jonathan Higgins, a sculptor, was convicted at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday (22) - Credit: Archant

A sculptor has escaped prison after being convicted of seven child porn offences at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday (22).

Jonathan Higgins, 43, of Sutton Road, St Albans, was found with nearly 3,000 child pornographic images on five devices when police raided his home on October 30 last year.

He had previously pleaded guilty at St Albans Magistrates Court to six charges of making indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child, one charge of possessing indecent photographs/pseudo-photographs of a child, and one charge of possessing extreme pornographic image featuring an animal.

Higgins escaped prison but was handed a four month sentence suspended for two years, ordered to pay £505, given a sexual prevention order for seven years, and will be put on the sex offenders register for seven years.

An emotional Higgins sat in the dock while Neil King, prosecuting, described how he had originally told the police who arrived at his home ‘it’s not what you think’ and denied possessing child pornographic images.


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He later told them that he kept the sordid images, mostly category C featuring teenage girls, for inspiration in his work as a sculptor.

The prosecutor said that Higgins had originally admitted to police that he found sexual pleasure in the images of teenage girls but later told his probation officer that he did not and only used them for his work.

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Defending, William Maley, said that Higgins had moved the images featuring younger girls to his delete box as they were downloaded by accident.

He went on: “He would download images in block form and he would then see girls younger and older. The younger girls he would delete. He was only interested in girls aged 16-18 or when he perceived them to look like that age.”

After seeing some of the material found on Higgins’s devices Judge Andrew Bright said: “The probation officer doesn’t believe a word of it and neither do I.”

He later added: “It’s a great pity that you don’t accept your problem as then we could offer you help. What you need is someone to give you a helping hand and address the underlying problem.”

Passing sentence he said: “There are children, vulnerable children, across the world who are being abused to satisfy the sexual cravings of people like you.

“People like you fund an industry that victimises children, you increase the demand for material that sees young children exploited.”

He continued: “I hope you realise what a suspended sentence means. You will carry on your life under the Sword of Damocles that could fall on your head at any time. You need to pull your life together and you need to learn your lesson from this.”

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