Saturday, 13 July

Tom Binns: Comedian who had 35,000 indecent images of children is spared jail

Odd News
Tom Binns. Pic: David Fisher/Shutterstock

A comedian who had more than 35,000 indecent images of children has been spared jail. 

Tom Binns, whose character is a hospital DJ called Ivan Brackenbury and who has appeared on Channel 4's 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, pleaded guilty last November.

The 53-year-old, whose full name is Christopher Thomas Binns, admitted five counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing a prohibited image.

He was found to have thousands of images on multiple devices, Derby Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Lauren Fisher said 104 category A indecent images - the most serious - were discovered, along with 411 in category B and 34,946 in category C.

Ms Fisher also said three prohibited images were found, along with one category B and one C moving image.

However, the judge warned some of the images may have been duplicates.

All were downloaded between 26 March and 21 November 2020 - beginning, therefore, just after the first COVID lockdown began.

Binns has said he took an overdose of prescription drugs for ADHD which induced obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In an earlier statement to the comedy news website, Chortle, he said that while "under the influence" of the drugs he "downloaded and deleted a very large amount of adult pornography over a short period of time".

Derby Crown Court| The case was heard at Derby Crown Court

He added: "Within those downloads, it appears there was some child pornography which I had not sought out nor wanted.

"I have no sexual interest in children. I have taken and passed a polygraph stating I have no sexual interest in children.

"I am bitterly upset at the hurt this has caused my family, for which I take full responsibility.

"I will take my punishment for this and hope that my family are not further harmed by my actions."

'Huge number of incident images' - NCA

However, Holly Triggs from the National Crime Agency said Binns "deliberately collected a huge number of indecent images of children".

She added: "Behind each one is an abused child who has had their wellbeing, innocence and privacy violated."

Judge Shaun Smith KC told Binns that had the pandemic not happened, and had he not taken the medication, "you would not be before the court".

Despite adding that Binns's offending was "simply unacceptable", the judge decided he does not pose a risk to the public and is unlikely to re-offend, handing him a suspended sentence.

He gave Binns a combined 10-month term, suspended for 15 months, made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and ordered him to sign the sex offenders' register, both for 10 years.

He said: "You are sickened by what it was that you were downloading and looking at and, quite frankly, you don't need me to tell you that you should be, because this kind of offending has real victims.

"It is right to say that had it not been for COVID, had it not been for the medication you were taking at that period of time, you would not be before the court, but the fact is that you are.

"You have returned to the law-abiding life that you were living before these offences."