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Photographer jailed for photo-shoot sex attack on teenager.

Byline: By TONY TODD

A wealthy professional photographer was jailed for 12 months yesterday for a sex attack on an aspiring model during a photo-shoot. Martin Turner, 37, sexually assaulted the 18-year-old brunette as she posed for modelling pictures on a bed at his pounds 750,000 luxury five-bedroom home.

Her family had paid Turner pounds 200 for the photo-shoot as the teenager tried to launch a modelling career.

A two-week trial Cardiff Crown Court had heard how the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, accepted a glass of water from Turner during the session.

She described how her memory blurred and spoke of how she felt Turner touching her body as he took hundreds of indecent pictures of her.

Sentencing Turner yesterday, Judge Christopher Llewellyn Jones said, 'This girl's parents entrusted your daughter into their care. They believed you would act in a professional manner.'

But he said Turner took her upstairs and persuaded her to remove her clothes.

'There is nothing of professional merit in these photos.

'She was only 18 and in my judgment she was a gullible young woman that you manipulated. This was a breach of trust and a complete absence of professional integrity.'

Turner, of Penylan, Cardiff, was jailed for 12 months, disqualified from working with children for life and ordered to pay a total pounds 8,700 - a pounds 5,000 contribution towards prosecution costs and a pounds 3,700 legal aid bill.

The would-be model had gone to Turner's home for a portfolio of photographs so she could enter a national modelling contest.

The pounds 200 fee paid for a series of photographs of the girl in the living room of his home, which Turner, a member of the Master Photographers Association, also used as his studio.

But Cardiff Crown Court heard he may have drugged a drink of iced water before suggesting they move upstairs for more pictures to be taken.

Jurors heard that the nature of the photographs changed entirely after the girl accepted the drink and was persuaded to go upstairs.

Giving evidence on a video link, the girl said, 'It was all a blur, my memory is so vague, I felt very dazed.'

But when he carried out the indecent assault, she said that she swore at Turner, pushed him away and fled from the house.

She told her stepmother on her mobile phone, 'He's just tried to rape me'.

The girl told the court, 'I felt degraded and just wanted to get home and have a shower.

'He was talking to himself saying, 'Martin what have you done?' and, 'I have been so unprofessional'.'

The girl swore at Turner, pushed him away and fled from the house to her car which stalled twice as she tried to drive away.

Turner, who is engaged to be married, denied sexual assault but was convicted by a jury.

The court heard his house in up- market Ty Gwyn Avenue has been up for sale but he is 'having difficulty selling' because of publicity surrounding the case.

He was considering making himself bankrupt as a result of severe financial problems. His proposed wedding later this year was also postponed as a result of the case and he was taking medication for depression.

David Aubrey QC, defending, said, 'Turner has been a photographer for many years.

'He has taken risque glamour shots but there have never before been any suggestion of this kind of behaviour.

'Turner has never had to come into the public gaze because of any of his actions in the past.

'He comes from a moral family.

'He has only ever worked as a photographer and started working with his father.

'When he left the family business he worked hard to set up a successful business of his own.

'He had a good name.

'This was an aberration on his part. This is something he would never normally do.

'The impact on his family has been devastating. He has had no work since February and it is unlikely he will ever work as a photographer again.

'His life has been placed in turmoil, his life has been torn apart.'

Mark Berry, executive officer of the British Institute of Professional Photography, said, 'It's appalling. I've never come across anything like this in the 20 years I've been here.

'It's the sort of thing we hoped would never happen.'

The Master Photographers Association removed Turner's name from its list of members.

His name was put on a sex offenders register.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 16, 2005
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