Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Married father-of-three asylum seeker, 46, who claimed he 'didn't know it was illegal' to share sickening child and animal porn videos to chat with fellow Iranian nationals in Germany and Georgia is jailed for 20 months

 A married father-of-three has been jailed for 20 months for sharing child and animal porn videos over a group chat.

Asylum seeker Fartam Bassiri, 46, claimed he didn't have a sexual interest in children despite police finding around 30 indecent images on his laptop in December 2018 during a police raid on his home in Birchwood, Warrington. 

Bassiri told Judge David Swinnerton he didn't know sharing the images was a crime and that he did it out of disgust, not because he was sexually attracted to children.  

Learning he had been jailed Bassiri, with the help of an interpreter, said: 'I really really don't know this is a crime and I wouldn't know that by sending this to somebody else to show someone disgusting matter is going to cause me this problem.'

But Judge Swinnerton said: 'You have not yet been ready to face up to why you were looking at and distributing these images.'

Mike Stephenson, prosecuting, said police found 11 category A images in Bassiri's home, of which eight were videos,  and 27 category B images, of which two were videos, and one category C image.

There were also two still images of extreme pornography involving animals and six videos. Mr Stephenson said: 'Some of the images were automatically loaded onto another piece of equipment, there was some element of duplication.'

He explained one of the three videos of child rape involved a mature female and a boy aged between five and seven which was sent to an address in Georgia on October 16, 2018.

A second video which involved two 12-year-old girls was sent to a doctor in Germany. 

Bassiri then sent another video to the same doctor on December 5, 2018, which involved two boys, aged eight and 12, and a donkey.

Mr Stephenson added: 'The crown's position is he does have a sexual interest in children.'

Bassiri has no previous convictions.

Jonathan Turner, defending, said: 'The images were received without request on a group chat from Iranian nationals.'

Mr Turner explained that the duplication of the images was due to the way the devices synced with each other automatically.

He said: 'He has worked consistently since arriving in the UK, most recently as a driver for a pharmaceutical company.'

Mr Turner said Bassiri had been married for 15 years and has three sons, who he provides for as his wife does not work.

He said Bassiri was an asylum seeker since his brother was incarcerated in Iran, adding: 'That was his first attempt to remain, he was in danger due to political association.'

Referring to a pre-sentence report Mr Turner urged the judge to impose a community penalty and said: 'He expresses remorse and shame for offending in that report. There is a low likelihood of reoffending and low risk of sexual offending.'

Bassiri admitted three counts of downloading indecent photographs of children, distributing three child rape videos, possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying serious injury to a person's private parts, possessing seven extreme pornographic images including animals and possessing 39 indecent images of children.

Judge Swinnerton said: 'You not only downloaded that but you shared it. I don't think you have been entirely frank with your reasons for looking at this. You said you shared them to show disgust and comment at how terrible this is.

'You didn't just post it once. You distributed it on three separate occasions - that is in addition to the 30 images you had downloaded.'

The judge, commenting on how Bassiri had claimed he didn't know it was an offence and shared it out of disgust, said: 'That was not what you were doing here. You know.

'You have expressed some remorse and shame. You know this material, looking at it and in particular sharing it is deeply wrong and that is why the starting point for sharing is three years.'

Judge Swinnerton said he took into account Bassiri's good character and afforded him full credit for his guilty pleas.

The judge added: 'You are someone with a wife and three children for whom you provide, although at the moment you are not living with them because of this offence.

'I note what is said about the further risk you pose being low but I also note you have not yet been ready to face up to why you were looking at and distributing these images.

'I also have to ask myself whether the only proper sentence for distributing class A images is one of immediate imprisonment and I take the view it is I am afraid.'

Judge Swinnerton said: 'Those that distribute class A images of children can expect to go to prison.'

Bassiri was jailed for one year and eight months.

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