Eton student caught with masses of child porn avoids jail

He had more than 2,000 indecent pictures of children. His dad is a lawyer.


The thousands of images and videos found on Andrew Picard’s computer were so appalling that Judge Peter Ross declined to describe them in court.

“Please make no bones about it, these are children, some of them very tiny, and they are being abused and tortured simply to provide sexual gratification,” said Ross.

And yet Picard, an 18-year-old who was studying at Eton when he was caught bY an undercover officer, today walked away from court with a suspended sentence. That is despite admitting to ten counts of child pornography and being sentenced to ten months inside – suspended for 18 months.

Picard’s family live next to the Houses of Parliament. His father is a managing partner in the London office of a large American corporate law firm.

His son was let off jail after getting credit for working with doctors in the past year to address his offence. “This was said to be a perk of his privileged position,” one newspaper reported.

Picard had more than 2,000 pornographic pictures of children.

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He went here

Cathy Olliver, prosecuting, said the undercover officer entered a teen chatroom last year and was contacted by a user called “AP16MUK” – which stood for Andrew Picard, 16, male, from the UK.

Picard messaged the undercover officer asking: “Do you want to see pics of boys and girls your age, nude?” Bragging about having hundreds of videos, Picard added the police officer on Skype and shared indecent photos of a boy aged ten and girls aged eight and 14.

Asking the undercover officer for proof he was aged 14 years and not some “old” man, Picard later sent a clip of his own face.

“His IP address led police to Eton school in Berkshire where staff were able to identify him as a pupil,” Ms Olliver said. “He was arrested from school on suspicion of distributing indecent photographs of children.”

“This defendant Andrew Picard was a privileged young man,” said Judge Peter Ross. “His family are clearly wealthy enough to send him to school in Eton. Quite how you found your way into this unpleasant world Mr Picard, the world of chatrooms and exchanging this material, is not clear to me.”

Picard’s suspended sentence was met with astonishment today. One well known columnist shared the news with the words “And stealing mineral water can get you jailed.” Sunday Times writer Camilla tweeted: