Sunderland student in court over picture of Bart Simpson being sexually abused by Marge

The court heard a graphic description of the abuse

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A Sunderland student ended up in court after looking at a computer-created image of child cartoon character Bart Simpson being sexually abused - by his TV animation mum Marge.

It was one of 49 cartoon-type images police found on Graham Moon’s mobile phone after they raided his home in Grindon Lane, Springwell.

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His arrest was no moment of comedy for university degree holder Moon, 23, who faced up to three years behind bars and a spell on the sex offenders register for his crime.

He avoided both after a court heard no real child was involved, he had not distributed the images, his offence was committed three years ago and he had not reoffended.

District Judge Zoe Passfield told him said there were “some points of concern” highlighted in a pre-sentence report commissioned into his behaviour.

But she said they could be addressed via a 12-month community order, containing 20 days of rehabilitative work with the Probation Service – and she did not place him on the sex offender register.

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Prosecutor John Garside said: “There are no sentencing guidelines for this offence.

“The circumstances are that police have executed a search warrant of the defendant’s home address.

“They seized electronic devices and over two devices were 49 images that were accessible.

“An example of one image was computer generated of a male child, effectively a cartoon. It’s one cartoon that may be known to the court.

“It’s effectively Bart Simpson."

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Mr Garside gave the court a graphic description of how another cartoon character, Marge Simpson, Bart's mother, was depicted abusing the 10-year-old Bart.

“That’s effectively what these images are, they are cartoon images of children and adults," he said.

“The defendant comes before the court with no convictions or cautions. The maximum sentence is three years.”

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Moon pleaded guilty to possession of 49 prohibited images of children, between February 19, 2019, and August 4, 2020.

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The court heard he gained sexual gratification from looking at the images.

Angus Westgarth, defending, said: “He has no previous convictions. He was a student at the university on his last year.

“When interviewed, he told the police that he had seen these images and they were on his machine, and he didn’t realise that it was illegal to possess them.

“These are still cartoon images, no child has been acted against. As soon as this offence was put to him, he pleaded guilty. There’s no child. What makes him tick, I’m not sure.”

Moon must pay a £114 victim surcharge. There were no court costs.

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