A man who claims he’s blind, was arraigned for watching child pornography in the United Kingdom.
Andrew Shaw, 44, claimed he had no idea what he was watching was porn, let alone one that featured underage children, because he can’t see.
Shaw of Derby Road, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire was led into Blackpool Magistrates Court, Lancashire by his black Labrador guide dog. His wife is also blind and was led to the court by her white Labrador guide dog to support her husband. He faces three offences of possessing 71 downloaded obscene images of children on his computer. Twelve of the images are alleged to be of the worst variety.
His lawyer Allan Cobain said he would indicate that Shaw would be pleading guilty to some or all of the offences.
He said: “This is an unusual case as my client is registered blind. He has no sight in one eye and only a small amount in the other. It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads. He may think he is looking at 16-year olds.”
He successfully asked magistrates to adjourn proceedings so that the Crown Prosecution Service could look at the file again with a view to giving his client a caution. But the lawyer said he would argue to keep the case before magistrates rather than have it sent to Crown Court.
The court heard that Shaw had been under investigation for more than a year. Crown Prosecutor Jim Mowbray said the prosecution case had been carefully looked at before court proceedings had started.
Shaw was granted bail.