Accused told police he saw indecent images

Jason Packer outside Portsmouth Crown Court
Jason Packer outside Portsmouth Crown Court

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A MAN accused of possessing indecent images of children was a children’s entertainer, a court heard.

Jason Packer is on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court charged with 13 counts of possessing indecent images of children and five of possessing extreme pornography.

The 45-year-old former Justice and Anti-Corruption party candidate, of Balliol Road, Portsmouth, denies the charges.

The court heard his defence statement says the images were planted by police, or were on his computer without his knowledge, or they were sent without his request, or put there by a virus.

Witness John Harrison, a digital forensic technician at Hampshire Constabulary’s hi-tech crime unit, disputed each defence.

Asked about Packer’s case that he had not seen the images, Mr Harrison said: ‘I’m not accepting that he was unaware of the content of the material.’

He said the search terms used indicated the user had an interest in the images and they had been on the hardware for a ‘significant period’.

Prosecutor Philip Meredith also asked if it were possible the images were introduced by a virus.

Mr Harrison said: ‘I didn’t find any virus on that computer that was capable of doing that type of thing, also I’m not aware of such a product.

‘I’m not aware of a virus that downloads indecent images of children.’

Under questioning in cross-examination from defence barrister Philip Romans about the possibility the images were planted after the hardware was seized by police Mr Harrison said nothing on the computer indicated dates on files had been changed. He said it would be beyond his expertise to do so.

Arresting officer Detective Constable Benjamin Hibberd was asked by Mr Romans if the seized hardware was put loose in black bags, rather than sealed evidence.

He said they were in black bags after being put in evidence bags.

Jurors also heard a transcript of Packer’s first police interview where he said he used file-sharing software to for videos about magic.

But he told interviewing officers he had seen a child ‘as young as a baby being abused’ but he said that was on a ‘normal porn site’.

He added that it was ‘pot luck’ if the searches he did returned indecent images of children.

Packer repeated in his interview he was ‘not into child abuse’ adding if he previewed images and found them to be indecent images he would not download and delete.

He said that if he downloaded videos that turned out to be child abuse then he would delete them.

Packer added: ‘I’m not part of any ring or anything.

‘It would be stupid for me to do that because I’m with the justice project which is against child porn.’

Toward the end of his interview he added: ‘I’m an open book, I will answer any questions and if parts of my life are classed as illegal then that’s part of life.’

(Proceeding)