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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
house + home
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Life and Style
Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living