The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Double Bluff

This job throws up some bizarre tales occasionally.

Michael, a married man, was taking part in an Internet chatroom for teenage girls, not as himself, nor even as a young lad, but posing as a lesbian girl. He made contact with a 14 year-old American girl, and over a while their correspondence grew more and more steamy and explicit. Eventually, his female alter ego made arrangements to fly over the Atlantic to meet her '‘friend'’. At this point, the American '‘girl'’ who was in fact an FBI officer running a sting operation of which Michael was just one of the targets, tipped off the British police, who searched Michael'’s house and took away his computer. The search revealed an extensive computer stash of pornographic pictures of young girls, some of them well up the ‘'Copine'’ scale of seriousness. In due course Michael was charged with child porn offences. I have no idea what happened to him after that. I do know that he was one of scores if not hundreds of men in the same position.

So we had two mature men, each pretending to be a young woman, dreaming up erotic adventures for the other'’s delectation. We had Michael, with his collection of pornography, who clearly intended to move from his fantasy world into the reality of meeting his imagined friend. Even if she had existed anywhere other than in the imaginations of two grown men, what the hell did he expect to happen when he arrived in the States? I decided not to think about that.

Until this case I had been slightly sceptical about the Operation Ore brouhaha, but afterwards, and now in view of the reported activities of a has-been pop singer in the Far East, I have adjusted my view. Yes, many, if not most enthusiasts for child pornography limit themselves to sad onanistic fantasy, but there are certainly some out there who have every intention of putting fantasy into reality.