A man in Middlesborough, England, was jailed for possessing "prohibited images of children" -- even though the images in question were cartoon drawings.
His barrister Richard Bennett said: “These are not what would be termed as paedophilic images. These are cartoons.”
And Mr Bennett revealed that such banned images were freely available on legitimate sites.
He said: “This case should serve as a warning to every Manga and Anime fan to be careful. It seems there are many thousands of people in this country, if they are less then careful, who may find themselves in that position too.”
Police found the images when they seized Hoque’s computer from his home on June 13, 2012, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield. He said officers found 288 still and 99 moving images, but none were of real people.
The judge made clear that no victim was harmed, and that this fact was immaterial to his conviction:
“It is important to emphasise that there were no actual children or perpetrators involved. ... This is material that clearly society and the public can well do without. Its danger is that it obviously portrays sexual activity with children, and the more it’s portrayed, the more the ill-disposed may think it’s acceptable.”
Do you live in England? The anime schoolgirl at the top of this post has hidden somewhere in your computer. Can you find her before the thought police do?
Correction: An earlier version of this article's headline said Mr. Hoque was jailed; his sentence was suspended.
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