Shamed prison governor jailed over porn offences wins appeal

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A DISGRACED former Doncaster Prison boss jailed after police found illegal animal pornography on his computer has been freed after appeal judges quashed his sentence.

Phillip Oliver, aged 54, was working as a director at the Marshgate jail when officers discovered the images and videos, depicting acts of bestiality, at his home.

Oliver, of St Mary’s Road, Dunsville, was jailed for six months after pleading guilty at Doncaster Crown Court to possessing extreme porn.

But three senior judges at the Court of Appeal ruled the sentence was too long and cut it to two months, allowing Oliver to go free immediately.

Lord Justice Pitchford told the hearing: “We have formed the view that the appellant need not remain any longer in prison.”

The court heard the material found on Oliver’s computer last year had not been illegal when he downloaded it but was subsequently outlawed.

His crimes were significantly aggravated by his use of a piece of software which allowed third parties to take control of his computer and download files from it.

Crown court judge Peter Kelson QC when sentencing Oliver said that given his position at the prison, making his computer available for others’ control had left him open to blackmail.

The appeal judge said because Oliver had exposed himself to the risk of blackmail he deserved a prison sentence.

But the offending had a terrible impact on the father-of-two, leading to him giving up his long career in the Prison Service and taking redundancy last year.

Lord Justice Pitchford added: “The appellant was a man of exemplary good character, who we conclude has paid a high price in consequence of his exposure to shame.

“We think that a sentence of three months’ imprisonment following a trial and two months after a timely plea of guilty would have been sufficient punishment in the circumstances.”