Man convicted of owning 137 000 images of children being sexually abused is spared jail to start family
Richard Arrowsmith was found in position of 137 000 images and 4336 videos of child sexual abuse that he had downloaded over 4 years. 400 videos were class A (the most extreme), 255 were in category B. 186 films and 851 images were in category c. "There were 1,692 movies and images ranging from Category A to C as well as the 4,336 videos and 137,000 images that remained uncategorised."
He could have received a 5 year prison sentence having pled guilty.
Instead, Arrowsmith was given a suspended sentence because he 'wanted to start a family'.
The excuses by Recorder Martin Butterworth are:
“You are 41 years old, with no previous convictions and you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
“There are three charges against you in relation to the possession of indecent images of children.
“I am taking into consideration your previous good character, you have a wife who supports you, a steady employment and your hopes to start a family in the near future.
I suppose we should be thankful that Butterworth recognised that viewing and possessing images of child sexual abuse, rape and torture aren't "victimless crimes". It's unfortunate he felt Butterworth's desire to "start a family" was more important than holding him accountable for perpetuating and perpetrating child sexual abuse. After all, a suspended sentence, being placed on the sexual offenders list, a curfew, a fine of £250 and the the requirement to engage in 160 hours of unpaid work will definitely prevent Butterworth from committing more crimes. Because the high recidivism rate of men who commit child sexual abuse and rape isn't really a problem either.
Arrowsmith should have received jail time to reflect the seriousness of his crimes. That he has never been convicted of a crime previously is irrelevant (after all, it's not like he collected all of these images in one day) considering the vast majority of men who engage in the sexual abuse of children by downloading and viewing videos and images are rarely caught. "Good character" is simply a way of excusing men's criminal acts by separating these acts from the performance of being 'good'. No 'good' man ever looks at images and videos of children being sexually abused. It is utterly preposterous to suggest otherwise. This is without recognising the number of men who sexually abuse and rape their own children - and who then upload images and videos of this abuse. Realistically, most men who commit these crimes are fathers. Insinuating that fatherhood may prevent further crimes is asinine and dangerous.
This is rape culture: when a man's job and future are considered more important than the safety of children. It is also male entitlement: insisting that Arrowsmith's desire to have children is more important than the safety of actual children. It prioritises his wants over the needs of actual children.