Comedian Tom Binns spared jail despite having 35,000 child sexual abuse images

I don’t have an opinion on this one.

A comedian has avoided prison despite being caught with tens of thousands of child sexual abuse images.

Christopher Thomas Binns, who plays the fictional character DJ Ivan Brackenbury and has appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and The IT Crowd, pleaded guilty last November to five counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing a prohibited image.

The 53-year-old had more than 35,000 images on multiple devices, Derby Crown Court heard.

But he claimed he ended up with them by accident after downloading adult pornography in an OCD-medication induced frenzy.

Binns was spared jail on Thursday, getting a suspended sentence.

Lauren Fisher, prosecuting, said 104 category A indecent images - the most serious - were found, along with 411 in category B and 34,946 in category C.

Ms Fisher also said three prohibited images were found, along with “multiple” category B and C moving images.

However, Judge Smith warned that some of the images may have been duplicates.

Ms Fisher said all the images were downloaded between March 26 and November 21, 2020.

She said: “Between October 14 and 15, 2020 the National Crime Agency received information that the user of [the defendant’s email] had uploaded multiple category C indecent images of children.”

A warrant was executed at Binns’s address at Bole Hill, Calow, Derbyshire, and he was arrested, with 39 devices seized including a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and an iPad.

Ms Fisher said: "During the investigation, it was established that a third party of Mr Binns’s partner had been asked to sell several devices on behalf of Mr Binns.

“Those devices were also checked.”

The devices, including two hard drives, were found to also include thousands of accessible and inaccessible images, including 25,000 inaccessible category C images.

Matthew Hayes, mitigating, said Binns had not committed any other offences since this incident and referenced the impact of prescribed medication his client was taking at the time, but did not fully elaborate in court.

In an earlier statement to the comedy news website Chortle, Binns said: "Over two years ago, while under the influence of an overdose of prescription drugs for ADHD, which induced obsessive-compulsive disorder, I downloaded and deleted a very large amount of adult pornography over a short period of time.

"Within those downloads, it appears there was some child pornography which I had not sought out nor wanted.

"I have no sexual interest in children. I have taken and passed a polygraph stating I have no sexual interest in children.

"I am bitterly upset at the hurt this has caused my family, for which I take full responsibility.

“I will take my punishment for this and hope that my family are not further harmed by my actions.”

Judge Smith said Binns’s offending was “simply unacceptable” but deemed he does not pose a risk to the public, and is unlikely to re-offend.

He gave Binns a combined 10-month sentence, suspended for 15 months, made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, and ordered him to sign the sex offender register, both for 10 years.

He said: "You are sickened by what it was that you were downloading and looking at and, quite frankly, you don’t need me to tell you that you should be, because this kind of offending has real victims.

"It is right to say that had it not been for Covid, had it not been for the medication you were taking at that period of time, you would not be before the court, but the fact is that you are.

“You have returned to the law-abiding life that you were living before these offences.”

Binns’s character Ivan Brackenbury was nominated at the Edinburgh Festival for the Edinburgh Comedy Award 2007, and he has also appeared on BBC drama Spooks and Channel 4’s IT Crowd.


Imagine thinking attractions are the issue here


35,000 CSEM is a LOT of images to have downloaded “accidently”. Of course, given that British law also includes CGI and hand drawn images, they may not have involved any actual children. I am not an expert in British jurisprudence, but do they consider naturist photos including children, as “indecent” as well? These are about as erotic as the old National Geographic photos of native people in very warm climates. But they could have been mixed in with real porno.

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Like I said, it’s not about “protecting children”. It’s about “punishing evil thoughts”.


Was browsing through /r/uk last night and watching people get into arguments with each other about this.

One person was arguing with another and was pretty adamant that jailing people for manga is not a waste of taxpayers money.

Made me quite angry actually. (Glad I don’t use reddit.)

(edited by staff)


That’s a very common “defense” amongst CSA and CSEM perpetrators. “Sure, I have done all these horrible things to all those children, but I am not a pedophile, so that makes it not as bad right?”

Unfortunately many judges and persecutors seem to agree. You are almost guaranteed to get harsher punishments for the same crimes if you are a pedophile. Some countries, like Switzerland and maybe soon Germany even have this distinction in their legal code.

And for completeness: polygraph testing is junk science and no more reliable than a die in detecting lies.


Yeah, the whole polygraph test (like, all of it) really surprised me.

Wouldn’t surprise me if the UK still believes in Phrenology.


Like I said, at this point, “correction” isn’t even a factor. It’s no longer about “punishing criminals”. It’s about “hunting monsters”. And you wonder why I feel a great camaraderie to vampires? That Castlevania line about humans being a “hard lot” is bullshit.


It’s almost like punishing deviance rather than harmful actions is a great way to put “normal” people who happen to be a danger to others back on the street


To be honest, a good majority of Brits are just looking for an excuse to go off and murder somebody classifed as a “pedophile” or “child molester.”

Won’t surprise me if there’s a UK version of the Snowtown Murders sooner or later.

My guess is that a court isn’t going to give a suspended sentence for non-fictional material, so my guess is the material that has been punished for is fictional. If my guess is correct, the claim of harm is tethered to an adherence to sympathetic magic.

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That’s why I respond to death threats with threats of familial extermination (in order to stop cycles of vengeance before they start, of course). Paranoid schizophrenia is one thing, but there’s nothing wrong with paranoia where there’s actually people out to get you.

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At this stage I believe that public opinion towards non-offending pedophiles is worse than towards non-pedophilic offenders.


I saw something that in the thread on reddit.

Like, whether or not this guy did accidentally download it aside, there were people in the thread who were vehemently against the idea that accidents could happen and thus guilty.

“It’s impossible to just stumble on child pornography.”

Like, no, it isn’t. I’ve reported two websites over the last five years to the FBI when I was trying to find something else entirely. (Nude Japanese AV pinup stuff from the 70s/80s. - I like the hair.)

Plus there were two Mastodon instances last year which were being abused as well…


The lack of public understanding that CSAM can be encountered by accident is a huge reason people don’t report content when they unintentionally stumble across it. In late 2022, Prostasia expanded our CSAM Deterrence project with a new set of ads to target people who found CSAM by accident and need help reporting it. Despite being under a year old, the new ads get more views and clicks than the ads targeted at viewers that the organization has been perfecting since 2018. If we had continued treating everyone who saw CSAM like they explicitly searched it out, we’d have missed out on thousands of people learning how to report illegal content.

Hell, even organizations dedicated to eradicating CSAM acknowledge that unintentional exposure is an issue. NCMEC literally had to release a brochure for people who find it and don’t know what to do:


It’s not just accessing, even unintentional production is possible. As an anecdote, I went to a beach today, there was a family with a young boy playing naked in the sand, and his grandmother was taking several photos and videos on her phone, some of which included the boy. Legally what she was doing was producing child pornography, and if I had reported her to the police she would have faced at least one year in prison.

Yeah, the Guggenheim art museum as well has some nude photos of little girls taken by Sally Mann on their website.

Only found that out when trying to find out who Robert Mapplethorpe was. (Who also took nude photos of children for art iirc.)

@Jigsy While your post may not have been disagreeable, please do not wish death, harm, or suffering of any kind against anyone on the forum.

Their failure to think critically or reasonably is not an excuse to conduct oneself uncivilly.

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Depends. Several courts filed a complaint against the increased punishment and that they do not want to punish these individuals so severely. One of the brought up cases was about some guy sharing a video of a boy who is penetrating a chicken. In his defense he argued it was simply a “meme” video for “fun”. Supreme Court told that this case might not even illegal, because the material is not pornographic and was also not shared with a pornographic intent. Make of this nonsense what you want.

Nobody should jump on that gray area tho.

Never say impossible. However, what definition was being used here? Coming across an Anime character in a suggestive pose (which constitutes porn in many places) is very easy. Google images levels of easy.