Businessman spared jail over child porn

 

An MP's son who joined an online “club” of perverts who shared sickening images of child abuse has been handed a suspended jail term.

Nicholas Beaumont-Dark, whose late father was a Conservative MP from 1979 to 1992, downloaded and distributed almost 400 illegal images, including one of a baby being sexually assaulted.

Warwick Crown Court heard that Beaumont-Dark, 50, was arrested in March last year after police seized a computer from his home in Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire.

The businessman, who pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to 16 offences of making and distributing indecent images, was given a one-year jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Passing sentence, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said Beaumont-Dark had allowed himself to become involved in an "internet club of perverts" whose members gained sexual gratification from looking at images of small children.

Although the judge conceded that Beaumont-Dark had not made any money from distributing the pictures, he stressed that the damage to those being abused in the moving and still images was enormous.

The judge told him: "You were, until you became enmeshed in this, a man of good character.

"You pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and you have had entrenched personal problems.

"None of that, however, diminishes your culpability in allowing yourself to join an internet club of perverts."

The judge said of the children depicted in the images: "Because they are infants, they have no-one to protect them - they are completely vulnerable.

"Because they need to be protected, this (case) can only be marked by a sentence of imprisonment."

But Beaumont-Dark was told by the judge that his sentence could be suspended because of his previous good character, obvious remorse and, to a lesser extent, his personal problems.

Opening the facts of the case, prosecutor Theresa Thorp said 293 moving images of children and 100 still images had been found on Beaumont-Dark's computer.

Analysis of the computer tower established that 393 images had been downloaded, of which 388 had then been distributed.

Miss Thorp said the charges covered a period between January 2011 and January 2012 and related to images found in six folders created on the computer.

During a police interview, Beaumont-Dark admitted the computer was his.

Miss Thorp told the court: "Towards the end of his interview, he said he regretted what he had done and that he never wanted to repeat his behaviour.

"He said he understood that each of the images represented a separate victim."

He was ordered to pay £1,200 in costs and will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Beaumont-Dark's father, Sir Anthony Beaumont-Dark, who represented Birmingham's Selly Oak constituency, died in 2006 at the age of 73.

PA