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Man Gets 12-Year Jail Sentence For Planting Child Porn On Enemy's Computer 448

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an update to a story we discussed in August about Neil Weiner, a man who sought to ruin the life of a school caretaker by planting child pornography on his computer. Weiner has now been convicted on two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail. "The judge told Weiner that his plot to have Mr. Thompson sacked and prosecuted very nearly succeeded. Police had been careful not to make public their arrest of the caretaker and only informed those at the school who needed to know, he said. 'But you gratuitously and spitefully informed the local press so that he and his wife suffered the distress of the unwelcome publicity which followed.' Mr. Thompson's health and that of his wife suffered. The judge said: 'There are still those who believe, and probably always will, that he is a pedophile. I am wholly satisfied that Mr. Thompson is innocent.' ... Weiner had discovered the caretaker's password by looking over his shoulder one day and been caught doing so. When Mr. Thompson was asked why he did not change it, he said he wished he had, adding: 'Who in their worst nightmares would could have thought that anyone could stoop to do what he did?'"
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Man Gets 12-Year Jail Sentence For Planting Child Porn On Enemy's Computer

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  • Re:Not suprising... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Norwell Bob (982405) on Friday September 24, 2010 @01:27PM (#33689296)
    I must be reading your post incorrectly, because what I'm getting from it is that you consider child pornography to be 'information'. Please tell me I'm wrong.
  • Re:Lethal Weapon VII (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nedlohs (1335013) on Friday September 24, 2010 @01:44PM (#33689550)

    There's 3 homicides of prisoners in prison in the UK a year, so clearly they aren't doing a good job of the butchering you expect.

  • by Arthur Grumbine (1086397) on Friday September 24, 2010 @01:53PM (#33689696) Journal

    What an appropriate charge. Also, this guy can rot.

    The truly sad thing is that he very well may be rotting alongside victims of the more successful (weren't caught) perverters of justice. Unless, of course, we just assume this is the first time someone has ever attempted this.
     
    It'd be interesting to see what percentage of those convicted of possession of child pornography claimed they were framed/had-no-knowledge-of-the-pornography, and how much effort law enforcement spent in checking the validity of those claims.

    I suspect that the numbers would be pretty damn disappointing/terrifying.

  • Re:Lethal Weapon VII (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@ g m a i l.com> on Friday September 24, 2010 @02:38PM (#33690364) Journal
    Well I guess that just shows y'all in the UK aren't quite as batshit as we are in the USA over your laws, as a local 20 year old here got 40+ years for having images of CP he snatched off image boards and the like, while the guy down the hall from me only got 6 years for shooting a cop in the belly while freaked out on acid. Here if you have CP you'd be better off popping a cap into the cop and then using the time while they have to call SWAT to get rid of the evidence, as the time will be less. no different than in the 80s Reagan drug scare where all the local dealers of pot started carrying guns so they could shoot the cop rather than get caught with a couple of pounds of weed.
  • by MeBadMagic (619592) <mtpenguin@@@gmail...com> on Friday September 24, 2010 @02:48PM (#33690482)

    It can get much, much worse.

    "How much effort law enforcement spent in checking the validity of those claims."

    How bout how much effort law enforcement spent MAKING those claims?

    Truly TERRIFYING!

    http://www.agingrebel.com/?p=2650 [agingrebel.com]

    B-)

  • Re:Lethal Weapon VII (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blair1q (305137) on Friday September 24, 2010 @02:54PM (#33690556) Journal

    I was using American sentencing. Uniform Criminal Code, q.v., plus a goulash of state laws. "The noose" is a figure of speech; "the needle" just wasn't distinctive enough to make my point as distinctively as I wanted.

    The fact is, the crimes OP listed come with longer sentences on a count-by-count basis than CP does. And this case is not a single count of CP, it's two counts of CP plus one count of making the police chase the wrong guy. Interestingly, it omits any counts that directly speak to the offense the perp committed against the victim by making the police chase him, though maybe that's accounted for under the other count.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Friday September 24, 2010 @03:00PM (#33690654) Journal

    he corporation signs a 6 month contract which means they can't let you go "just because we changed our mind".

    Actually they can. They just have to keep paying you. They don't actually have to let you work for them. Professional sports teams release players under contract all the time. It's a last resort -- paying someone not to work isn't very profitable -- but sometimes it makes sense for all parties involved.

  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday September 24, 2010 @03:14PM (#33690816)

    In fairness, that's not all GOP'ers, it's primarily those that come from the bible belt or need their electoral votes in Presidential elections.

    Yes, but they are the most vocal and active of the party and are routinely referred to as the "base" of the party.

    They haven't done much,

    You mean nothing. What little they have shrunk has been far outweighed by their gross spending.

    hence the rise of the Tea Party.

    Tthe party of "keep the government out of my Medicare!!", right?

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Friday September 24, 2010 @03:30PM (#33690998)

    Sure, liberals should be exposed to conservative views. (And vice versa, for that matter.) I read commentators every day whose views I disagree with but who are nonetheless able to coherently put forth an argument for their position.

    FNC is a lot less about that and a lot more about fearmongering.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday September 24, 2010 @03:32PM (#33691016) Journal

    In nearly all cases, the company only needs to have the headhunter replace you with someone else for the remainder of that contract.

    I know this because that's how I got my current position - my employer set up a 6-month contract, the first guy was a dumbass (I spent three weeks cleaning up his mess). The company nearly threw the guy out literally, and the headhunter asked if I'd fill out the rest of the contract term. I was getting nowhere with the contract-to-hire gig I was doing at the time, so I said 'yes'...

    ...that contract ended 4 months later, and became a permanent and very well-paying position for me.

  • by eyenot (102141) <eyenot@hotmail.com> on Friday September 24, 2010 @03:47PM (#33691166) Homepage

    You're right. And, remember, Martha Stewart was tried on:

    1. computer evidence that for all intents and purposes never existed. Some geek said "oh, I deleted the files, then deleted the logs to cover my tracks, but the incriminating files WERE there, once. I swear it." -- this was considered substantial!

    2. shreds of documents from the same letterhead fixed-width type pieced together arbitrarily -- substantial!

    3. the testimony of an agent who, for said testimony, later was sentenced to perjury -- substantial!

    Who believes she's guilty? The whole country. Ask anybody.

    Now, consider this: some perv gets caught, takes the Stewart trial precedents, takes this trial's precendents, throws a dart and picks a random person (or picks somebody whose dog crapped on his yard) and says "HE did it! HE put these here!" It wouldn't take a whole week for that perv to come up with

    a. how he knows YOU did it
    b. how YOU did it, when
    c. WHY you did it

    Even if he doesn't know you! Think about it! Sometimes, bad is bad!

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['hoo' in gap]> on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:22PM (#33691552) Journal

    One of her best friends just called her. This woman's house was just raided by the FBI this morning. Turns out that her boyfriend was into child porn. I've hung out with them, he seemed like a regular guy. I liked him. Now I don't know what to think, or feel. I know I feel a little dirty just from having hung out with him. But I also feel some sympathy, because I know the guy, and before I found this out, I liked him. I can't imagine what his girlfriend is going through. Can you ever take enough showers to feel clean after that?

    I know he had a screwed up childhood. I guess I just didn't know how screwed up. And now I can't help but contemplate his future. It isn't pretty. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve it, kiddie porn is inexcusable. But his life is over now. If I were somehow in his position, I know what I'd do. I know the man owns guns. There aren't many situations where suicide might just be the best answer, but along with painful terminal illness, this is one of them.

    I just feel sick now, I could barely eat lunch today. The wife and I offered to help clean up after the mess the FBI left, tearing up the place. But cleaning the physical mess is only the first step.

  • by Jainith (153344) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:46PM (#33691868) Homepage Journal

    (if I had killed someone every time I said I'd like to...)

    There's a great short story about this that I read many years back...I don't recall the name but basically

    11 of the 12 Jurors immediately want to vote guilty...

    The 12th is actually interested in the case/process etc. and begins to convince some of the others of his "reasonable doubts".

    In the climax the 12th juror provokes one of the others into saying "I'm going to kill you!" ...echoing a statement made by the defendant. This was a key part of the case against the defendant so demonstrating that that statement doesn't always precede the act of homicide is enough to cause many of the other juror's to have "reasonable doubt".

    I think the story also deals with jury sequestration, and allergic reactions (peanut butter? or maybe a bee?)

    Anyone remember the Title?

    -Jainith

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... m ['hoo' in gap]> on Friday September 24, 2010 @05:23PM (#33692386) Journal

    No, as I said, I never said it was the "right" thing to do. I said it was the company's right to do so.

    As an example, if a woman dumps you and I say, "Bitch did you a favor," does that mean I think she did the right thing? No, it means, I think it is better you are no longer with her. And no one would argue her right to dump you, obviously she has that right.

    My observations about Fox News were coincidental to the discussion at hand, meaning, it is perhaps a coincidence that both Fox News viewers and the poster are hypocritical and vindictive,

    He was not fired for having the wrong political beliefs. He was let out of his contract for reasons we can only guess at. Contractors can not be fired, they were never employees. If he'd wanted protection, he should have asked for it. He didn't, and now he wants to ruin this person's life because he made a mistake when bargaining for the position. He is stupid, for not asking for what he wanted. He is hypocritical because I have seen him castigate others for not taking personal responsibility, but does not do so here, and he is vindictive because he fantasized about putting kiddie porn on his ex-bosses computer.

    His boss would not merely be fired if he planted kiddie porn on her computer, and you know it.

    And once again, I must point out that he wasn't fired. As a contractor, he was never an employee. He was a supplier of services, an independent business that did work for another business. If he wanted the protections that come with being an employee, he should have become an employee, not a contractor.

    I have no sympathy because, and this bears repeating, commodore64_love fantasized about putting kiddie porn on his ex-bosses computer for revenge.

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Friday September 24, 2010 @06:15PM (#33692924)

    At the very least, since a child can't give informed consent or be legally responsible for contracts, any sale of porn involving real children is just like a case of commercial non-porn where the photographer failed to get a model release. Basically, it's frequently illegal to distribute content at all where the model's release doesn't exist (There are, of course, some exceptions, such as photos of a public figure, but unless the child in question is Brooke Shields or some such, those wouldn't apply). As to these being actionably criminal acts, it's possible to prosecute a distributor for not destroying illegal content when the court orders, whether that distribute continues to sell it or simply warehouses it. Even if you made simple possession legal in general, all it would take is a court order that the material was illegally produced for lack of model's release reasons, and anyone can be enjoined from distributing or continuing to possess it, and ignoring that order would still escalate the matter to criminal levels.The only way to get around that would be to change the law so that possession of this child porn was somehow more legal than the general case for possession.
            Secondly, let me put the ball back in your court. How do you enforce the laws against both creation and distribution of content whether because it's 'obscene', or just because it's done without model releases, unless you can also have a law against possession? This is one of the general arguments for all sorts of laws against possession - how do you get the possessor to divulge who illegally produced or illegally distributed X (child porn, cocaine, or just a bootleg CD), if you can't prosecute the possession itself?

  • Re:Why CP is illegal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @01:12PM (#33704036)

    Good point. In my previous linked post, I gave just a couple of lines to explaining that. There is no *rational* reason to outlaw *mere* possession. However, we're dealing with the law, here. Laws often appear irrational.

    In the case of CP possession, it was made illegal before the internet made it possible to distribute the stuff widely for free. Thus, if someone was in possession, they could lead LE to sellers if only LE had some leverage on them. The easy solution was to make mere possession illegal, thus giving LE some leverage to force consumers to give up suppliers.

    Back then, this helped staunch the flow of CP from foreign mail-order outfits. For example, U.S. authorities could not prosecute Color Climax in Europe for producing and selling. They could, however, set up stings (mostly Postal Service stings) to bust collectors in the U.S., thus hurting the commercial suppliers sited outside the U.S.

    With possession illegal, the commercial producers could also be attacked by Customs; they could start confiscating any CP being mailed to a U.S. address, no matter the source and without having to make a case that any commercial transaction had taken place.

    Note that Color Climax dropped kiddy movies from all their catalogs at about this time. Nowadays, no one at Color Climax will even admit that they got their start making and selling CP. The laws against mere possession, as silly as they seem today, had a positive impact in changing the way Color Climax and others did business back in the day.

    Yes, the original justifications for outlawing mere possession were slight and under today's digital reality they are completely nonexistent. Nevertheless, nothing is going to change. Any politician who stands up for "free speech, even for pedos" will get killed in the next election.

    Appealing to rationality on this issue is a political non-starter. Give it up. It ain't gonna happen.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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