It was argued by his barrister, Sallie Bennet-Jenkins QC, that an immediate custodial sentence would undo all the good work that had been done by the psychiatrists and counsellors.There is not necessarily a “right” sentence for any crime.Again, it is not clear whether he distributed any Category A or B images.The Guidelines suggest a starting point of 1 year (range 26 weeks – 2 years) for distributing Category B images; or 3 years (range 2 – 5 years) for distributing Category A images.Last Friday he received a sentence of 10 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.The sentence has been the subject of a great deal of criticism.of Category A images, although the starting point is 1 years imprisonment, the sentencing range goes up to 3 years.
can be a proper alternative to a short or moderate length custodial sentence.”But having decided in favour of custody, and that it should be a sentence of less than 2 years, he then had to consider whether he should suspend it.
As far as we can tell from the reports Mr Picard’s sentence was in line with what one would have expected from a judge faithfully following the Sentencing Guidelines and the case law on the sentencing of young people.
Some commentators have queried why Mr Picard was not charged with an offence under S.10 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Whether it was 1,185 or over 2,000 images perhaps does not make very much difference.
What is more important is that some of them were almost indescribably vile, including a picture of a 2 year old girl being raped by a dog.
However, in some cases Picard appears to have been far more proactive, by persuading teenage children to make indecent images of themselves in exchange for indecent videos that he would then supply to them.