Rob Barrow, organiser of the London Comic Marts and British early comic conventions that ran from the mid seventies to the present day was sentenced yesterday to one year prison sentence, suspended for two years due to the responsibility of looking after his sick mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and chronic arthritis.
The London Comic Marts were founded with Nick Landau, who now runs Forbidden Planet, Titan Publishing and the Kapow convention. Rob was a regular figure in the British comics industry, known by all and he continued running the Marts until last year. Following his arrest, they have been continued by others, keen to keep the institution alive.
The Daily Mail reports that Barrow’s lawyer argued “In the last 15 years an obsession arose with collecting pornography. At the start it was ordinary and it descended from there. Yet the actual material is almost irrelevant to him. It is just the obsessive need to get more and more of whatever it is. He has no particular sexual urges with regard to children at all.”
In a police bulletin Acting Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, Paedophile Unit, said:
The seizure of images from Barrow is the largest ever seen by my unit in relation to one individual. His activities were on an industrial scale. To put his collection in perspective, it would take 347 days to view the entire collection – allowing 30 seconds per image with no
breaks. Possession of indecent images of children is not a victimless crime as each image possessed or distributed represents a child that has been sexually abused in order that the image can exist. The circulation of those images around the internet magnifies that abuse.
Barrow has also had a three month curfew placed upon him, must comply with the Sexual Offenders Register and must undergo a treatment programme.