SAPS welcome landmark sentencing for possession of child pornography
On Thursday 9 March 2017, 33 year old Jayde Sheldon Bailey of Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth was handed down a sentence of five years imprisonment in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court for the distribution and possession of child pornography.
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. His arrest was followed by the arrest of his then girlfriend, who is now his wife.
The investigations continued for almost two years and last month, 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 years imprisonment on Thursday, 9 March 2017.
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.
"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," said Acting SAPS National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.
"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," Lt Gen Phahlane added.
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.
Source: Government of South Africa