A court in Kent, England, has delayed sentencing of a convicted pedophile until next month amid concerns that the man may have no wifi access in prison.
Phillip Dutfield, 61, requires wifi for his pacemaker to function, according to Kent Online. The internet connection allows the pacemaker to link up with a National Health Service (NHS) server which controls it.
“It is a unique case in my experience. It may well become commonplace,” said Judge Jeremy Carey at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent Online reported.
He therefore agreed to delay sentencing until August 2 so that the situation could be clarified.
“It is not known whether it is capable of functioning in a custodial setting,” Tom Dunn, Dutfield’s defense lawyer, said in court of the pacemaker.
“One can imagine all sorts of impediments to it functioning in a custodial setting. No doubt there are safeguards in place to prevent that happening for many reasons,” Dunn added.
Dutfield, a former army officer, previously stated that he downloaded all sorts of material “because I have a morbid interest in my world.”
As well as his pacemaker, Dutfield reportedly takes daily doses of medication for his heart condition.
“He may be put at risk in a custodial setting,” Dunn said of Dutfield in court.
Dutfield’s previous prison terms were served for possession of extreme pornography on his computer in 2006, including pictures showing sexual abuse. In 2010, he was sentenced for breaching a sex offender prevention order.
In the latest case, prosecutors accused Dutfield of having unsupervised contact with a girl last July, and using a computer capable of accessing the internet at the University of Kent. He has denied a similar breach of the order’s terms involving a young boy, Mirror.co.uk reported.
Dutfield was first apprehended in 2004 when working as an administrator at a home for people with mental health problems.