Civil servant guilty over child porn

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2012, 12:00am

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A civil servant was found to have more than 2,500 pornographic pictures and video clips of children on a computer at his home.

Choy Ka-leung, 35, yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography.

Prosecutor Margaret Yu Kwok-wai said police discovered that someone at the address where the Census and Statistics Department assistant officer lived in Tseung Kwan O had been downloading child pornography from the internet.

Officers went to the property, conducted a search and seized a computer along with 78 disks.

Further investigation of the seized material revealed that Choy had in his possession some 2,457 pornographic photographs and 157 video clips featuring children.

More than 1,800 of the photographs and 67 of the video clips were classified as level-one images, the least severe level of pornography. Level-one images are defined as those that involve children in erotic poses but do not depict any sexual activity.

However, the remainder of the haul was classified at high levels - up to level four, the highest classification, which includes images depicting sexual activity between children and adults.

Before yesterday's conviction at the District Court, the civil servant, who has a master's degree, did not have a criminal record.

Defence lawyer Suen Kam-hee said a psychiatrist had concluded that Choy was not a paedophile.

Suen handed up letters of mitigation from Choy's girlfriend of six years and a professor who supervised Choy while he was working towards his master's degree.

Deputy District Judge Bina Chainrai adjourned the case to August 21. In the meantime, she called for background, psychological and psychiatric reports on Choy.

Anyone found in possession of child pornography is liable to a fine of HK$1 million and five years' imprisonment on conviction on indictment, and a fine of HK$500,000 and two years' imprisonment on summary conviction.