A former Sheriff of Canterbury has been sent to prison today after admitting indecently assaulting a vulnerable youngster and downloading child pornography. Ex-councillor Martin Fisher, 61, later told one police officer:
"Some people like Picasso..I like pictures of children with no clothes on."
The paedophile pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court to five charges, including two sexual assaults on an adult and 11 charges of downloading disgusting images of children - including one depicting sado-masochism on a child. Fisher, from Queen's Road, was told by Judge Adele Williams he had a "deviant sexual interest in children" who had shown no insight about the effect on his victim.
Fisher, who ran his own insurance business in Sittingbourne, was jailed for a total of 15 months and banned him from working with children for 10 years. The sentence was the culmination of a 15-month long investigation by the East Kent Public Protection Unit, based at Canterbury Police Station. Investigating officer, Detective Constable Richard Allen, said:
"This was a joint investigation with Kent Social Services in which Kent Police took the lead. We arrested Fisher in April 2010 after one of his victims reported the offences. During the course of the investigation computers, video cameras and cameras were seized from Fisher's home in Whitstable and his business address in Sittingbourne. We found indecent images of children and paedophilic stories that had been downloaded from the internet both on his home and business computers. Paper copies of indecent images were found in the office at his home and copies of paedophilic stories were discovered underneath his bedside cabinet. When Fisher was arrested and interviewed he admitted accessing and printing the images and stories but he said he didn't accept they were indecent - he felt they were artistic.
Throughout police interviews Fisher denied the sexual assaults, but changed his plea to guilty at a court hearing on June 20. Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, head of CID at East Kent, paid tribute to Fisher's victims, who, he said, had been prepared to give evidence against Fisher, should there have been a trial. He also paid tribute to officers at the Public Protection Unit for carrying out a meticulous investigation:
"Thanks to their dedication and thoroughness a damning case was built up against Fisher. Throughout the investigation Fisher refused to accept that he was sexually interested in children, despite using search engines on his computers to look for sites specifically involving sex with children. He maintained that indecent pictures and explicit paedophilic stories were 'art'. He has also since claimed that he pleaded guilty to save his victims the trauma of going to court and that he was also a victim in the case. We wholeheartedly dispute that. Hopefully, following today's sentence, he now understands that this behaviour is not acceptable and the only victims in this case are the people he sexually assaulted. I also hope that the case shows other victims that Kent Police will do everything in its power to bring offenders like Fisher to justice."
Alongside the 15 month sentence Fisher will stay on the sex offenders' register for 10 years. He was also given a sexual offences prevention order, banning him from working with children for 10 years.
kentonline 21st Jul 2011
Herne Bay Matters home page