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SAPS National Commissioner welcomes landmark sentencing for child porn possession

MARCH 10, 2017
SAPS National Commissioner welcomes landmark sentencing for child porn possession

The Acting South African Police Services (SAPS) National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane on Friday welcomed the conviction and sentencing of a 33-year-old Port Elizabeth man for the distribution and possession of thousands of child pornography images.

Jayde Sheldon Bailey, from Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, was on Thursday handed a sentence of five years imprisonment in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court for the crime.

"On 16 March 2015, a team of detectives from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit of the South African Police Service arrested the suspect at his residence after he was found in possession of thousands of child pornography images and videos," described police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

"His arrest was followed by the arrest of his then girlfriend, who is now his wife."

Brig Naidoo said that the investigations continued for almost two years andin February, Jayde Bailey eventually pleaded guilty to the charge of distribution and possession of child pornography.

This plea resulted in him being sentenced to an effective five-year prison sentence.

"The South African Police Service has welcomed this imprisonment sentence as it is the first time that an accused has been sentenced to direct imprisonment for the distribution and possession of child pornography images. Previously, accused have either been fined or received a suspended sentence, or both a fine and a suspended sentence," said Brig Naidoo.

Commenting, Lieutenant General Phahlane said; "This sentence sends a strong message out to those who prey on our vulnerable children and youth.

"The South African Police Service, with our links through Interpol to police services across the globe, is playing an important role in identifying and bringing cyber-sex pests and other sexual offenders before courts of law and in ensuring that justice prevails.

"This is indeed a landmark case; the justice system in South Africa has acknowledged that the possession of child pornography is a serious and disturbing offence that deserves direct imprisonment. 

"We commend our FCS Unit and our justice system for their sterling efforts in bringing these and similar perpetrators to book."

The accused has been granted leave to appeal his sentence and he has been allowed 14 days to lodge his application. 

He was subsequently released on bail and the case was postponed to 27 March, 2017.

In the meantime the case of the wife of the accused is still continuing and her case has also been postponed to 27 March 2017 in a different court.