CHILDREN’S entertainer Jason Packer has told jurors that former MP Mike Hancock’s ‘agents’ planted child abuse images and extreme pornography on his computer hardware.
The 45-year-old former Justice and Anti-Corruption party candidate gave evidence yesterday on the fourth day of his trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Packer, of Balliol Road, Buckland, is accused of five counts of possessing extreme pornography and 13 of possessing indecent images of children, alleged to show children as young as five.
Giving evidence, Packer said he got the Pascoe report – written by Nigel Pascoe QC about Mr Hancock’s alleged inappropriate behaviour – through his door in a brown envelope.
He said he then scanned it and put it on his website and the file-sharing system Shareaza on January 18 last year. He said he named it ‘Explosive Hidden Hancock File’ and put it with pornography so people would download it.
Packer said: ‘I expected that something, either some people, saying they were the police, would come round and have a chat with me, or maybe they would come round and threaten me.’
As it happened in the past people had criticised Mike Hancock, people have been visited, cars have been blown up and people have been threatenedJason Packer
He added: ‘As it happened in the past people had criticised Mike Hancock, people have been visited, cars have been blown up and people have been threatened. I believe three of our justice group have had their cars blown up.’
Packer told the jury he was a member of a justice group, which included the internet group Anonymous, and it hunted paedophiles and corruption – including in the judiciary.
He said he has no knowledge of how the images and movies got on to his Asus tower computer or four USB sticks and said they were planted.
It is the prosecution’s case that Packer downloaded the images using Shareaza on to a hard drive and copied some images on to the sticks.
Asked how he explains the images got on to his machine, Packer said: ‘I can’t say when they were put in. I have to assume they were put in by agents of Mike Hancock at some point, or by the police.’
He added: ‘My initial reaction was magic but that’s not a fair thing to say.
‘I have come to the conclusion they have been put there.’
During cross-examination prosecutor Philip Meredith put it to Packer he was using the trial as ‘propaganda’ against Mr Hancock and he was in ‘denial’ about downloading the images and movies.
Packer denies this and denies all the charges against him.
He told the court: ‘I had seen none of the images or videos until the jury looked at them with me.’
Asked later how he could prove he had no knowledge of them, he said: ‘I have my integrity, that’s all I’m reliant on, everything else has been stripped away.’
Packer added he allowed ‘port forwarding’ on his router in 1988 or 1989 and that gave people an ‘open door’ access.
Giving evidence, Detective Sergeant Tim Plummer said an IP address – later linked to Packer – was first identified by intelligence on January 2.
He said the force applied to the internet service provider on January 13 for details of the account holder and received those on January 17 and then a warrant was sought.
He said Hampshire police executed five warrants, including Packer’s, on February 11 as part of the Internet Watch Foundation’s day of action.
It was put to the detective by Mr Romans that police ‘arranged for incriminating images to be planted on computer equipment’.
The officer said: ‘That’s incorrect.’ He later said the idea was ‘ridiculous’.
Mr Romans added: ‘To be clear, Sgt Plummer, the raid... last year was in revenge for Mr Packer having put the report online.’ Det Sgt Plummer replied: ‘That’s incorrect.’
Mr Romans had also asked: ‘In January last year... it’s right, is it not, that police were protecting Mike Hancock?’
Det Sgt Plummer replied: ‘I have no knowledge of that.’
The detective told jurors he serves in the internet child abuse team and set up the anti-corruption unit in 2006.
The court heard Mr Hancock was investigated by Hampshire police but there was no criminal prosecution.