CAPE TOWN, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The South African Police Service (SAPS) vowed on Friday to intensify the fight against child pornography following the first sentence of an offender convicted of child pornography.
The SAPS, with its links through Interpol to police services across the globe, is playing an important role in fighting child pornography, said Acting SAPS National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.
He was speaking after the Port Elizabeth Regional Court sentenced 33-year-old Jayde Sheldon Bailey to a five-year imprisonment for the distribution and possession of child pornography.
It is the first time in the country that an accused has been sentenced to direct imprisonment for the distribution and possession of child pornography images. Previously, the accused have either been fined or received a suspended sentence, or both a fine and a suspended sentence.
In March 2015, a team of detectives from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit of the SAPS arrested the suspect at his residence in Port Elizabeth 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 case of the wife of the accused is still continuing and her case has also been postponed to March 27 this year in a different court.
The justice system in South Africa has acknowledged that the possession of child pornography is a serious and disturbing offence that deserves direct imprisonment.
Phahlane welcomed Bailey's sentence, saying this sentence sends a strong message out to those who prey on vulnerable children and youth.
"This is indeed a landmark case," he noted.
"We commend our FCS Unit and our justice system for their sterling efforts in bringing these and similar perpetrators to book."
Phahlane pledged that the SAPS will work harder to identify and bring cyber-sex pests and other sexual offenders before courts of law and to ensure that justice prevails. Enditem