St Albans teen’s child porn nightmare over

A TEENAGER has been cleared of downloading indecent images of children and animals at St Albans Magistrates Court.

The teenager, who faced 10 charges, had been a victim of a file-sharing network that had downloaded the images without his knowledge.

District Judge Gill Allison heard how the 17 year old had taken his laptop in to a computer repair shop for work on the hard drive and asked for all files to be saved as the laptop held vital college coursework. The indecent images were found by a contracted IT repairman who then alerted the police and the St Albans teenager was arrested in April 2009.

The boy admitted to searching for porn but denied any knowledge of the offensive material and subsequent tests by police computer experts found no evidence that the files had been searched for or accessed once downloaded. He had been using the file-sharing network Limewire, which allows users to search for and download images, music and videos from other users en masse. The results of a search cannot be viewed until the user has downloaded them.

A senior analyst on the computer forensic team said that many of the file titles returned on Limewire were not indicative of content and any user making mass downloads could be unaware that potentially offensive material was on their hard drive. District Judge Allison took just five minutes to reach her verdict of not guilty and said there was no evidence to prove that the teenager had intentionally downloaded the images or viewed them once they had been downloaded.


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