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Defendant Claims He Did Not Know He Was Watching Child Porn — Because He Is Blind

Copyright Richard Baker/In Pictures/Corbis / APImages
Copyright Richard Baker/In Pictures/Corbis / APImages

A man charged with downloading and viewing child pornography has claimed that he was not aware the videos were of underage children as he is blind.

The Telegraph reports that 44-year-old Andrew Shaw recently appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court in Lancashire where he was led to the stand by his guide dog. Shaw faces three charges related to his alleged viewing of underage child porn, including possession of as many as 71 obscene images.

Shaw, who comes from Lancashire, did not speak, but his lawyer stated, “This is an unusual case as my client is registered blind. He has no sight in one eye and only a small amount in the other. It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads. He may think he is looking at 16-year olds.”

Shaw’s lawyer managed to successfully adjourn the court proceedings until the Crown Prosecution Service has had time to once again review the charges and the evidence, hoping that Shaw would instead receive a warning rather than go through a formal trial. But the lawyer did state he would rather have the case kept before magistrates rather than have it sent to the Crown Court.

Shaw has reportedly been under investigation for over a year and Crown Prosecutor Jim Mowbray argued that the evidence involved in the trial and many other aspects of the case had been investigated well before the trial.

Despite this, Shaw was granted bail. It has yet to be announced when Shaw’s next court date will be.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com.

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