Film producer who spent more than £100,000 on porn spared jail

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A film producer working on a multimillion-pound National Geographic documentary who spent more than £100,000 on online sex shows using a company card has avoided jail.

Mark Johann Insanally, 55, previously admitted fraud between October 2019 and November 2020, at Croydon Magistrates’ Court.

During a hearing at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, prosecutor Peter Lancaster told how Insanally was working for a company called Ventureland, where his job as a producer was to organise the logistics of production which was “millions of pounds over budget”.

The court heard that, from October 2019 to November 2020, Insanally used a company credit card to access online porn and used the Chaturbate adult website.

Mr Lancaster told the court that when the first transactions were spotted by an accountant, he claimed the payments were for archive footage he believed employees in the US were sourcing.

However, when they were seen again, he confessed to having an addiction to online pornography, particularly adult chat sites, and had paid to watch sex shows.

The court heard he spent more than £108,137 on one debit card.

A victim impact statement from Ventureland read out in court said the incident had a “grave financial impact on the company and damage to the reputation of the company”.

Mitigating, defence lawyer Kieran Galvin said Insanally has medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension and lives with and cares for his sister, who is housebound due to a heart condition.

He said his sister moved in with him after the death of his nephew, which had a “huge impact” on the family.

Mr Galvin added that Insanally lost work as a result of the case but has begun reconnecting with the industry again to re-establish himself.

In a statement read out to the court by Mr Galvin on behalf of Insanally, he said: “I am deeply remorseful to those who put their trust in me and I am embarrassed, ashamed and humiliated that I allowed my abhorrent behaviour to spiral out of control.”

Holby City actor Jeremy Sheffield, who previously worked with him, also gave a character reference statement which was read out to the court by Mr Galvin.

It said: “I cannot speak more highly than anyone of Johann. I would trust him with my life, he is a precious friend, generous spirit and a gentle soul.”

Insanally was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He has been ordered to undertake 15 days of rehabilitation which the court heard he has already booked.

He has been ordered to pay back £20,000 to Ventureland within 12 months and was also given a 10pm to 6am curfew with an electronic tag to last until December 26.

Sentencing, Judge Gavin Millar said: “You worked, very successfully, for the film production and festival sector. You are of previous good character and expressed remorse almost immediately.”

He added it would be the “right thing” for the industry to give Insanally work again.

“You have plenty left to give and hopefully the industry will recognise that and you will re-emerge,” he added.

Insanally, who appeared in person at the hearing, responded from the dock: “Thank you.”

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