Beds, Herts & Bucks

Magician to attend sex offender programme

A magician and ex-teacher has been given a three-year community order after admitting 17 charges relating to indecent images of children.

Robert Cox, 64, of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, owned a computer holding 18,000 sex abuse pictures and movies.

He resigned from the Magic Circle to avoid giving it a "bad press", St Albans Crown Court heard.

Judge Martin Griffith said a prison term would not provide enough time for a sex offender treatment programme.

Robin Miric, prosecuting, said when Cox was arrested on 8 February last year he gave the police a "full account" and admitted sharing some of the images with friends.

The network site used to distribute the child pornography has now been closed, said Mr Miric.

'Great concern'

Cox pleaded guilty to five charges of distributing indecent images of children, 10 charges of making indecent images and two of possessing indecent images.

Most of the images were at level one, the lowest of five levels but there were some at level two, three, and four.

Defence barrister Chloe Belton said: "He left the Magic Circle before the case came to court. He did not want to give the organisation bad press and he is not going to renew his membership."

Cox was also employed as a public speaker, on occasions being asked to carry out toasts at weddings.

Judge Griffith said: "You were found with 18,000 images which you looked at and passed on to friends. This causes the court a great deal of concern."

He also said a short prison sentence would not have allowed enough time for him to receive treatment to stop him offending again.

He will be supervised for three years and must pay £500 prosecution costs within 28 days.

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