A U.K. sex offender who identifies as transgender has been caught with extreme pornographic images which depict the rape of children in an “explicit and realistic way.”
On March 17, Carlisle Crown Court heard how Jasmine Challands, 46, whose birth name is Peter James Challands, hid two mass-storage USB devices in a box of Legos. Investigators discovered the devices and the child sexual abuse materials they contained during a routine inspection for compliance to a sexual harm prevention order, which included an obligation to inform police about any digital storage devices.
In an interview with police at the time of his arrest on March 16, Challands blamed his “former” male self for the offending, saying, “Peter was responsible for them.” Challands emphasized that Peter, rather than Jasmine, had “bad” things on the USB devices which reflected fantasies of sexually abusing children.
Challands’ defense attorney, Jeff Smith, told the court that his client no longer wished to be a man and was beginning a transition process. Magistrates were told that Challands is a “tortured” individual who is now struggling with his identity.
“[He] tells me this will take 10 to 11 years,” said the lawyer. “So [he] is tortured, regarded by no one, and respected by no one. [He’s] said to me in the cells that [he] doesn’t know who [he] is, what [he] is, where [he’s] going, or where [he] belongs.”
Challands had been a registered sex offender since 2019, when he was previously convicted for making and possessing animated child sexual abuse images. Official court records detail that within the five allegations against Challands of possessing child sexual abuse materials there were over 10,000 indecent images. Some of the media met the standard to be classified as ‘category A,’ the most severe form of child sexual exploitation image which includes penetrative sex, sexual activity with an animal, and/or sadism.
At the time, Challands had spent on remand the equivalent of a 14-month jail sentence, but was freed in 2020 under the condition of a five-year sexual harm prevention order. He was released despite having admitted to four new charges: failing to comply with Sex Offender Registration rules, twice breaching a court order to prevent offending, and failing to tell police that he had a computer flash-drive device.
Challands protested his own release, saying he felt safe in jail. Mark Shepherd, representing him in 2020, said: “He clearly wishes to remain in prison and finds comfort within the prison system far greater than he felt in the community.”
However, Judge Nicholas Barker said continuing to jail Challands would not offer any form of “protective package” to the public. “Prisons are not there to house vulnerable individuals,” said Judge Barker. “They are there as centers of punishment and to control risk.”
The judge imposed a three year community order, with 20 days of rehabilitation and a Sex Offenders’ treatment program. Challands was also given a five year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the same period.
Challands is currently remanded to Durham Prison and has yet to enter a plea regarding the new charges against him. His case will be heard in Carlisle Crown Court on May 16.
Local media News and Star referred to Challands as a “woman” and did not reference his self-declared gender identity in their most recent news report concerning current charges.
Challands’ bizarre claims bear some similarity to those of U.S. serial killer Donna Perry.
Born Douglas Robert Perry, the sadistic killer murdered three prostituted women in a four-month timeframe in 1990. During his trial for the slayings, Perry referred to his “male” and “female” identities in separate contexts, accusing his “male” side of having committed the crimes while his “female” identity was innocent of them.
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