Burnley IT worker downloaded child porn in a bid to frame his boss

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

AN IT worker who was planning to set up his boss by planting sickening child porn on his work computer, has been jailed for a year.

Jason Woodvine (40) had downloaded almost 70 video clips onto his home computer and intended to transfer them onto his line manager’s machine to discredit him and get him into serious trouble.

Some 66 of the films were at level four and one sadistic two-hour film showing a girl aged under 10 was at the most serious level five, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told how Woodvine had been made redundant just before his arrest and did not carry out his plot.

He - not his intended victim, who could have been arrested and prosecuted - ended up in the dock.

The defendant had been employed at a firm making fire resistant clothes and other products for the Ministry of Defence and high security was involved.

He alleged the manager had been letting down firewalls on the computer system to download films - not porn - from the internet.

Woodvine, who had no previous convictions, seemed to fight back tears as a judge told him he had to go to immediate custody.

The defendant, of Ribblesdale Street, Burnley, had admitted seven counts of making an indecent image of a child and seven of possessing an indecent image of a child with a view to distribution. He was put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Sarah Staham (prosecuting) said the girls in the films were all aged under 13. The defendant had pleaded guilty on the basis the videos were not for his own sexual gratification and he had no interest in child porn.

He claimed he had downloaded the files for a couple of months before police went to his home in February last year, but altered dates so it would look as if his boss had been downloading the porn for longer.

On February 17th last year, officers went to the home he shared with his then partner, told him why they were there and he immediately told them there were indecent images on a computer. There was a computer tower in a bedroom used solely by the defendant.

Miss Statham said officers discovered 66 moving clips at level four, the film at level five and one video at level three. The crown could not prove he had viewed the films, which were from a file-sharing network. From the titles of the downloads, it was obvious what they contained and the ages of the children.

The defendant said he had been having problems with a production manager at work. He intended to transfer the files to the boss’s computer in the hope he would get into trouble.

Woodvine claimed the line manager was, in his eyes, abusing the computer system. He told police he had raised his concern with the intended victim and people above him, but nothing appeared to have been done and so he decided to set him up.

Simon Gurney (defending) urged the judge to pass a suspended sentence. Woodvine, now working as a machine operator, did not show the films to anybody and did not view them himself. The defendant, who had lost his good name, apologised for his behaviour.

“He recognises what he did was stupid and he shouldn’t have behaved in that way.”

Sentencing Woodvine, Recorder Alan Conrad QC told him the films showed ongoing sexual activity which distinguished them from still photos.

He said Woodvine had sought to implicate another man, falsely, in a despicable crime. Recorder Conrad said the defendant had suffered because of what he had done, as his relationship had collapsed and he had received threats and scorn.

But, the judge continued: “You must know these were real children, real victims of horrible sexual abuse.”