Blind man accused of downloading child abuse images ‘thought he was looking at adults’

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A man who is registered blind has appeared in court charged with viewing child abuse images.

Andrew Shaw, 44, was helped into Blackpool Magistrates Court by his black Labrador guide dog. His wife, who was supporting her husband, is also blind and was led to the court by her own guide dog.

Shaw of Derby Road, Thornton, faces three offences of possessing 71 obscene images of children on his computer. Twelve of the images are alleged to be of the worst variety.

His lawyer Allan Cobain said: “This is an unusual case as my client is registered blind. He has no sight in one eye and only a small amount in the other. It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads. He may think he is looking at 16-year olds.”

He successfully asked magistrates to adjourn proceedings so that the Crown Prosecution Service could look at the file again.