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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Army policeman jailed over child porn
BBC News graphic
Barker was sentenced at a court martial in Wiltshire
A military policeman has been thrown out of the army and jailed for two months after he admitted downloading child pornography from the internet.

Corporal Martyn Barker, 25, of the 3rd Regiment of the Royal Military Police, pleaded guilty to 14 charges of creating computer files showing indecent photographs of children while he was serving in Gibraltar.

A court martial in Wiltshire, where Barker's regiment is now based, heard the soldier was caught after a colleague spotted the images while he was asleep following a drinking session.

Barker, who has also served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, voluntarily handed over further evidence to investigating officers.

The fact you are a member of the Royal Military Police is an aggravating factor. Part of your duties are to be there for public protection

Judge Advocate Ian Pearson

Details of the images concerned were not read out at the hearing, held at Bulford Camp on Salisbury Plain, but prosecutor Major Jim Johnston, said: "He [Barker] admitted saving them on to disks and printing them off.

"He accepted they [the images] portrayed children under 16."

Bill Bache, defending, said his client had been a good soldier and had only looked at the sites "out of curiosity".

'Learned lesson'

He said Barker had initially accessed the internet in a bid to help him decipher the wording on an Oriental window blind he had at his flat but had clicked on to pornographic websites that appeared on a research list.

Mr Bache, who said Barker only skimmed the opening pages of the sites, said: "He committed these offences but he committed them entirely on his own.

"He was effectively going no further than the shop window.

"There was no distribution, no showing of the images on the screen with any other party

"There is no kind of risk of offending at all. He is an intelligent young man. He's very much learned his lesson."

Sex offenders' register

Despite Mr Bache's request for Barker to remain in the armed forces in some capacity, the court martial board ordered him to be dismissed with disgrace from the service and reduced to the ranks.

He was also sentenced to 56 days detention at the military corrective training centre in Colchester and will be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years.

In passing sentence Judge Advocate Ian Pearson told Barker: "The fact you are a member of the Royal Military Police is an aggravating factor.

"Part of your duties are to be there for public protection."

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