GEORGE NEWS - A Wilderness man who was caught with nearly 57 000 images and videos containing child pornography will spend the next eight years behind bars.
Tyrone James (40) was handed a 12-year sentence of which four years are suspended for four years. He was also given a four-year suspended sentence for the possession of various drugs including Tik and Mandrax. The sentences will run concurrently.
During sentencing, Magistrate Marius Fourie described the material containing babies and toddlers as gruesome and graphic.
"This is not a matter of mild child pornography. Nearly every gruesome thing you can think of doing to a child can be seen in the photos and videos. Your actions enhance the market for child pornography," Fourie said.
James's web of child pornography was exposed shortly after he was arrested for the possession of drugs at a routine roadblock in March 2016.
He was stopped on the N2 highway on the Touw River bridge when police found dagga and Tik in his bakkie. Upon his arrest the police officer noticed images relating to child pornography on his phone.
When his house in Kingfisher Close was searched, police found computer equipment with more pornographic material.
Among the confiscated material were 56 578 images of child pornography with babies and children between the ages of 2 and 18. Some of these images date back to 2004. A total of 240 videos containing explicit child pornography was also found.
In his plea agreement, James said that he never manufactured or distributed the material. According to him it was for personal use only. He said he only looked at the material when he was under the influence of Tik. Fourie said that James, knowing what effect drugs had on him, should've asked for help.
According to the state
According to the state the material showed children violated in the worst possible way. "The pain and suffering of these children are unimaginable. These sick, twisted predators commit heinous crimes and contribute to a market where rape and child abuse are the order of the day," state prosecutor Candice Simon, said during her closing argument.
Women and Men Against Child Abuse
The anti abuse organisation, Women and Men Against Child Abuse (Wamaca), welcomed the sentence but said that they would've enjoyed seeing James behind bars for the next 15 years. "His actions feed the child pornography network. I think a longer sentence would've been better to bring across a stronger message to these predators," said Wamaca's Joanne Barret.
While being escorted to jail, James turned around to bystanders outside court, smiled and said,"Thanks for coming."