A printer from St Albans who distributed child sex abuse images escaped going to jail today (Thursday, October 29) because of his ill health.
Peter Menzer, 63, suffers from a genetic condition and prostate cancer, was arrested by the police on 11 January 2018, St Albans Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Stefan Weidmann said when the police went to his home he told them the passwords for his computers, which were seized and examined. “Indecent material was found on a phone and a DVD,” he said.
He said Menzer was in “some distress” and had “multiple health issues”, which had delayed the investigation and court process. When questioned in February this year, he made full admissions.
One movie, lasting 91 seconds, showed the rape of an Indian or Asian girl aged 12 or 13 by an adult male. Menzer is thought to have sent it on to no more than six other people.
Menzer, a married man with children, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to distributing and downloading indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography.
Ruby Selva, defending, said he was of previous good character and had sought help from a charity called Stop It Now.
She said he had made a “full and frank confession”, had made no excuses and was supported by his family.
Judge Richard Foster told him: “At the age of 63, you have lost your good character in the course of these disgusting offences.
“The children abused for your gratification are real people often from the poorest parts of the world.”
The judge passed an eight-month sentence suspended for 18 months, telling him he took into consideration his health. He said: “You are very fortunate to leave by the front door and not the prison van.”
Menzer must attend 30 rehabilitation days, abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order and register as a sex offender for 10 years. In addition, he was given three months to pay £525 prosecution costs.