• Sat
  • Jul 12, 2014
  • Updated: 3:00am

Former social worker jailed for child porn downloads

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 September, 2008, 12:00am

A former social worker who was found in possession of pornographic images of children after he subscribed to a child pornography website and downloaded files was jailed for three months yesterday.

The illegal material - 26 videos and 23 pictures - were found in Fok Shung-ngai's computer, which was in his bedroom when police raided his home in March.

The 46-year-old father-of-two subscribed to a child pornography website in March last year, using his credit card to pay for a month's subscription, a prosecutor earlier told Tuen Mun Court.

Fok then downloaded the pornographic images. He told police that he had deleted most of them after viewing them during his holidays.

Principal Magistrate Kwok Wai-kin said a jail sentence was necessary to send a deterrent message to the community.

People thought possession of child pornography was harmless but if people did not buy it others would not produce or distribute it, he said. Production of child pornography was humiliating and extremely harmful to children.

He said the case underlined three things of which the public should be aware.

One was that those who pay to browse and download child pornography supported that industry and were as guilty as those who actually abused the children.

Second, people should not be under the impression that it was acceptable or legal to download such material from the internet.

Third, no matter when such offences occurred, they would be discovered, the magistrate said.

In considering the sentence, Mr Kwok said he had rejected a suggestion from Fok's lawyer that any sentence be suspended because Fok had deleted the files after viewing them. He did not know encryption software in his computer would produce backup files.

The magistrate said despite the fact that Fok had deleted the files, he had downloaded the material after subscribing to the website.

Such acts had encouraged the producers and distributors of such materials to continue.

However, the magistrate said he had given Fok a one-month discount on his jail time, as the court had been told in 69 letters of mitigation that he was a devoted social worker who had often worked in his own time to help those in need.

The letters came from colleagues, church fellowship members, his wife and parents of children he had helped.

Some of the letters described Fok, who worked at the Alice Louey Centre run by the Heep Hong Society in Tai Po, as a devoted and wholehearted worker. He quit in March.

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