No Jail for Child Porn Distributing Bank Lawyer Mohamed Ismail

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NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images

A lawyer working for one of Britain’s most prestigious banks has been spared jail despite downloading thousands of films and still images of child pornography and distributing it online.

Faliq Mohamed Ismail was a lawyer working for Coutts, the so-called Queen’s bank founded in 1692 — before the Bank of England, and indeed before the Acts of Union which created the United Kingdom — famed for having a cash machine at Buckingham Palace, although his employment there has now come to an end.

Ismail was convicted of having over 15,000 videos and stills in his possession, including 1,076 videos and 2,173 stills classed as ‘Category A’ — the most heinous form of prohibited imagery, involving  “penetrative sexual activity, sexual activity with an animal or sadism”, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Nevertheless, the judge at Southwark Crown Court chose to let Ismail walk out of court with a 16-month sentence suspended for 18 months and an order to pay costs of just £100, along with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which is supposed to control his behaviour.

Judge Michael Grieve QC insisted that the order “imposes considerable restrictions on [Islamil’s] use of the Internet, software programmes, and he must make his devices available to the police,” and that it was “necessary for the protection of the public from sexual harm, in particular children, going as close as one can to preventing him from accessing this type of material in the future.”

The judge added that “It is an offence to breach the terms of the order, which carries a sentence of up to five years” — although his original crimes could also have carried a substantial custodial sentence but did not, except insofar as suspended sentences are counted as “custodial” despite the fact they do not involve anyone actually being held in custody unless there is further detected wrongdoing.

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