Artist spared jail for possessing indecent images of children – despite his lawyer recommending two-year prison sentence

Edward Blampied with his book The Motormice go to St Ouen. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (37892665)

A JERSEY artist known for his trademark caricatures and murals has been spared jail after admitting downloading hundreds of indecent images of children as young as three.

Edward Blampied – who has also illustrated children’s books – was found in possession of 568 pictures, including 44 categorised as featuring the most extreme level of abuse.

He was sentenced to 312 hours of community service order.

Outlining the case, Crown Advocate Lauren Taylor, prosecuting, said police officers seized 12 electronic devices from Blampied on 14 September last year and later found the images on a laptop.

The pictures had been downloaded since November the previous year and were mostly of girls aged under ten, with the youngest aged three, the court heard.

Blampied, who painted the well-known mural at the Hungry Man Café in Rozel, made no comment during his first police interview, but confessed during a second interview in January.

He later formally pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children.

Crown Advocate Taylor said Blampied was considered at medium risk of reconviction for sexual offences and at low risk of general reconviction. He was not considered to be at risk of harm to the public.

Of the production of indecent images, she added: “He recognises the suffering and damage that flows from this.”

Advocate Darry Robinson, defending, pointed out that Blampied suffered from mental-health problems such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, and said: “This is quite an unusual case.

“Mr Blampied was looking at images to relieve anxiety. He has done this because of his mental-health problems.”

He added: “He acknowledges he has problems. He acknowledges that he has done something wrong.

“We have early guilty pleas and genuine remorse. He immediately confirmed ownership of the devices and he immediately provided passwords to the devices.”

The Jurats decided not to jail Blampied. Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae told him: “These images are so serious that generally only a custodial sentence can be justified, and the custodial threshold has been met in your case.”

But he added: “You had a difficult childhood, you have suffered from poor mental health, and you fully accept what you did was wrong. You have exhibited genuine remorse.”

As well as the community service order, the Jurats imposed a two-year probation order and instructed him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years and undergo psychiatric assessment. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £2,000.

The Jurats sitting were Steven Austin-Vautier and Andrew Cornish.

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