10th October 2018, 16:04
A husband and wife convicted of possession of indecent images of children have been sentenced to 30 months in prison and 12 months suspended respectively. 32 year old American Bobby Jay Simmons and 26 year old local Loren Robles were convicted unanimously in June on two charges of possessing nearly 7500 indecent images of children. Simmons was also convicted on a separate charge relating to one additional image. The couple maintained their innocence throughout the trial.
The pair were arrested in June 2016 following a tip-off from the UK’s National Crime Agency that an IP address in Gibraltar was being used to download indecent images of children, over 800 of which were classified as category A – the most serious kind. Robles was not originally a suspect until it came to light that files had been accessed whilst her husband was away.
When handing down the sentence Chief Justice Anthony Dudley took into account aggravating factors such as the young age of children depicted, the high number of victims as well as the volume of images. He also made reference to deliberate search terms found on the computer’s history and the relatively lengthy period of time the images were in the couples’ possession.
Mr Justice Dudley also mentioned mitigating factors, including that both husband and wife have no previous convictions and the fact that Simmons had himself been abused as a child. He also made reference to Robles’s “wholly misplaced loyalty and delusional belief in her husband’s innocence”.
Simmons received 30 months for count two and 15 months for count three, with no separate penalty for the first charge. His wife received 12 months and 6 months for the two counts she was convicted of, to be suspended partly as a result of her long-standing history of anxiety and depression.
All sentences are to run concurrently, with time served taken into account.