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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Former judge admits porn charges
David Selwood
The former judge will be sentenced in July
A former circuit judge has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

David Selwood, from Winchester in Hampshire, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of making and possessing indecent images of children.

The 69-year-old admitted the charges at Bow Street Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The court heard that the case had a "devastating and humiliating" effect on the judge and his family. He will be sentenced on 13 July.

Selwood admitted making or possessing a total of 75 indecent images of children.

'Curious' search

Amanda Sawertz, prosecuting, told the court that on 21 April Selwood was in possession of 63 indecent photographs of children.

"All of the images were of boys between the ages of eight and 14," she said.

"The images were obtained from various websites."

Selwood claimed he was curious to see how difficult it was for someone with few computer skills, like himself, to find such images.

He has lost his judicial career, he has lost his reputation and he has suffered considerable financial loss as a result of this case
Richard Hallam, solicitor
In a statement to police he said he never had any sexual interest in young children but admitted it would be difficult to describe his actions as "research".

Earlier this year, while still a judge, Selwood accepted a claim by a defendant who was a world authority on child abuse that he had downloaded child pornography for research purposes.

Selwood described Professor Christopher Bagley as "naive" for accessing the indecent images without seeking legal advice or consulting colleagues.

In another case in 2001, Selwood released a paedophile back into the community under supervision after the man broke an order banning him from contacting young people.

No review plans

The man had been held at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and warned authorities he might re-offend if freed from prison.

The judge sentenced him to two years' probation under constant supervision and police monitoring at a secure unit.

The Crown Prosecution Service said there were currently no plans to review child pornography cases on which Selwood had presided as a judge.

Nick Hawkins, chief Crown prosecutor for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: "If any cases are referred to us then we will look carefully at them.

However, we do not propose to conduct a blanket review at this stage."

Selwood retired as a circuit judge on 2 June on the grounds of ill health, after holding the position since 1992.

Selwood has been placed on the sex offenders register and was bailed to return to the court for sentencing.





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WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Luisa Baldini
"He may still face prison"



SEE ALSO:
Court 'clears' child porn expert
02 Apr 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset


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