Neil Deller: Men who view images of children being sexually abused are high risk perpetrators
Neil Deller received a community order, will have to attend an "internet sex offender treatment programme", and "five-year sexual harm prevention order under which his internet activity is controlled and monitored".
Deller pled guilty to seven offences "involving downloading and possession of child porn". He was found in possession of "3,500 images and videos of child and bestiality pornography", yet the judge, Christopher Ball QC, refused to ban him from working with children under the age of 16 because "there was compelling evidence that he did not pose a significant risk of sexually abusing young people".
Except for all of the children sexually abused, tortured and raped in the images and videos that Deller chose to view - some of the children as young as 3. And all of the children who will be sexually abused, tortured and raped as long as there are men willing to consume these images.
This statement from the judge also shows just how difficult it is to convince people that viewing images of children being sexually abused, tortured and raped:
Passing sentence, Judge Ball said: 'Over the last ten years there has been a constant stream of cases, almost always male defendants in their middle or late years, who have become involved in, absorbed by, fixated with internet pornography.
'And the ease with which this material can be accessed, it's not long before that interest and obsession with pornography descends into a kind which depicts sexual assaults on very young children.
'That's the downward path you have taken. For a considerable period you have found yourself obsessed on a daily basis with this sort of material.'
That there has been an increase in the number of men viewing these images is cause for serious concern. Suggesting that these men do not pose a risk to any children when they are actively viewing these images is simply a complete failure to understand child sexual abuse and rape. Ball is suggesting, as did writer John Grisham, that the problem lies with the ease of access of these images rather than the men who choose to consume them.
We need to be clear: men who view images of children being sexually abused, raped and tortured are high risk perpetrators. Choosing to view images makes them high risk perpetrators. Their choice to consume these images fuels the production of more images and videos. Without a market willing to pay, we would not be looking at such a large proliferation in images of child sexual abuse, rape and torture available online.
Claiming that these men 'pose no significant risk' is a serious failure to understand the impact of sexual abuse, rape and torture on children. Simply put, it implies that the children aren't worth consideration or protection; that the careers of men like Dell are more important than the children they chose to abuse.
We need to stop using language like 'non-contact abuse' and 'child porn' and be clear that the viewing of images and videos of child sexual abuse, rape and torture are serious crimes committed by perpetrators - not middle aged white men who 'accidentally' viewed and downloaded 35000 images - but men who make a choice to commit child sexual abuse, torture and rape.
* All quotes in the article are taken from the article 'Judge allows teacher caught with child porn back in the classroom' published by the Daily Mail.