A paedophile who had sick pictures of children aged as young as three claimed he had been trying to download Kung Fu films.
Anh La attacked police officers who raided his home in Quinton in order to hide the images which had nearly 2,000 indecent images and videos he had amassed over ten years.
More than 200 were classed as the most serious – and depraved – category while the pictures were also sorted into folders with warped names such as ‘Siberian defloration’ and ‘Sweet and young’.
And yet despite the 65-year-old showing a ‘concerning’ lack of understanding about the seriousness of crime, in particular any awareness of the impact on the children in the material, La avoided an immediate prison sentence.
He pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent images. At Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, March 24, La was sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for two years. A ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) was also imposed including conditions to restrict his mobile phone and computer use.
Police raided his home in Chelsea Close on October 24, 2019 to investigate intelligence indecent images were being accessed from the address.
Prosecutor Tim Harrington said: “When police attended this defendant was uncooperative and assaulted two police officers to stop them gaining access, and then tried to escape.”
La was previously dealt with at magistrates court for offences relating to his actions towards the police. A number of devices were seized from his home and analysis showed his computer and mobile phone had been used to access child porn. Victims appearing in the material ranged from aged three to their mid-teens.
A total of 204 images were classed as category A, 88 were category B and 1,598 were category C.
La clammed up in interview with police and was even heading for a trial before belatedly pleading guilty.
Omar Majid, defending, addressed Judge Melbourne Inman QC and said: “You will be concerned about the defendant’s attitude towards these offences in his pre-sentence report, that concludes something of a failure to recognise the seriousness of these type of offences and the failure to recognise or acknowledge his own actions to the complete extent.
“The underpinning reason for this is shame. He is deeply embarrassed and ashamed of his actions.”
He added: “Clearly the way Mr La thinks about these issues needs to be addressed and while immediate custody may punish in the short term it will not fundamentally address the thinking.”
Mr Majid then explained how the offending occurred and said: “Mr La said he was trying to download Kung Fu films. He accepts he downloaded adult films. He tells me he received a bundle of adult material from a friend which he had downloaded and within that material there were indecent images. That’s essentially how this started.
“In the following years he continued to access that material. He accepts that’s wrong. He knows that’s wrong. One of the features that was apparent to me was that Mr La struggled to understand the impact that this would have had on the children involved in the material. It took some time to deal with that.
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“He does say to me he is horrified by this. That didn’t stop him downloading the material. He now knows full well what happened to these children in the production of these images was fundamentally wrong.”
Passing sentence Judge Inman stated it was not ‘realistic’ to expect the probation service to support La, due to his difficulty understanding English and the restrictions the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed on face-to-face contact.
He added it was in the ‘wider public interest’ to suspend the sentence stating the conditions in the SHPO would prevent La re-offending in the same way.