August 2018

Pervert caught hiding behind wheelie-bin with carrier bag containing laptop, phones and sex toys

A pervert who downloaded and distributed images of child abuse via the blogging site Tumblr is starting a prison sentence.

John Lenaghan, 41, was caught hiding by a wheelie-bin in an alley with a carrier bag containing a laptop, phones and sex toys after he would not open his door to police.

He was taken back into his home where he pointed at the plastic bag and said: “It’s all in there.”

He had been given a chance by the courts with a suspended prison sentence for having indecent photos of children in May 2013.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for seven years – but later ended up back on the police’s radar, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The National Crime Agency learned he had been uploading similar illegal images to the internet via the Tumblr app in October 2016.

Officers seized and analysed two phones after going to his home on September 14 last year, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield on Thursday.

Lenaghan had 177 indecent pictures of children – most seriously, a 31-minute video of child abuse.

He had used different names online, with as many as 40 user accounts on one device, and used Facebook under a female name.

He accessed the disturbing material via his Tumblr account using nine email addresses, and reposted two indecent images allowing others to access them.

He discussed images with another user, saying: “I’ve got nothing to trade, sorry. Will let you know if I do.”

He confessed that when Tumblr closed down one of his accounts, he simply opened another, creating aliases to conceal his activities.

Lenaghan, of Balcary Court, Hartlepool, admitted three counts of making and two of distributing indecent images of children, and nine charges of failing to comply with notification requirements.

Peter Sabiston, defending, said: “He drifted back into old habits.

“This is a man who accepts that he has a very serious problem.

“The principal mitigation is his genuine shame.

“He is very scared of custody. He presents as a somewhat timid and quiet man. No doubt he will find custody very difficult.”

He said Lenaghan was an unsophisticated man who wanted to do something about his “sickness”.

He added Lenaghan showed remorse, accepted blame and was determined to seek help.

He told how Lenaghan had special educational requirements, was bullied at school and had thought about self-harm, and he argued Lenaghan deserved prison but could be managed in the community.

Judge Sean Morris told Lenaghan: “You don’t get a second chance at a suspended sentence for this kind of offending.”

He said of Lenaghan’s breaches of court orders using online aliases: “They were determined and they were prolonged and designed to avoid the authorities finding out what you were up to.

“You must understand that these are serious offences. They are not victimless offences.”

Lenaghan was jailed for 22 months and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

June 2013

Porn addict is spared jail

A pervert who downloaded more than 100 indecent pictures and movies of children from the internet has been spared instant jail.

John Lenaghan, who said he was addicted to pornography, was arrested after police raided his Hartlepool home and seized his computer, discs and DVDs.

They were found to contain a total of 106 indecent photos and movies featuring children.

They included 27 pictures and three movies in the second most serious category.

But Lenaghan, 36, was spared being sent to prison straight away after Teesside Crown Court heard he has learning difficulties and has taken steps to deal with his pornography addiction.

Police acting on information searched his house in Arkley Crescent, Hartlepool, on September 19, 2011.

The majority of images found fell into the least explicit category.

Christopher Baker, mitigating, said: “He is genuinely remorseful for what he’s done and he has made significant efforts himself to deal with his problems.

“He has sought help to tackle what he describes as an addiction to pornography.

“He seems to have weaned himself from the use of it altogether.”

Mr Baker added that Lenaghan had separated from his partner over the offences and has affected how he can see his children.

Lenaghan, of Borrowdale Street, Hartlepool, admitted 12 counts of making indecent images of children, one of possession and asked for others to be taken into consideration.

He was given four months prison which was suspended for two years with probation supervision.

Judge John Welford said the seriousness of viewing child pornography had received a lot of publicity following the April Jones murder trial.

But he said that case was on a “totally different scale” to Lenaghan.

Judge Walford said the sentence if Lenaghan had been found guilty after a trial would have been six months prison.

He said: “These are of course appalling offences generally speaking but within the context of your case and the nature of the material, it’s quantity and the facts which I’ve referred to I’m satisfied it’s not necessary to impose an immediate custodial sentence.”

Lenaghan was also given a sex offenders treatment programme and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.

March 2013

A PERVERT has admitted 13 charges of making indecent images of children

John Lenaghan appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court and admitted 12 counts of making indecent images of children.

The court heard that the offences occurred between December 6, 2008, and September 20, 2011.

The 36-year-old also admitted to a single charge of possession of 19 indecent photographs of youngsters on September 20, 2011.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench John Taylor agreed to deal with the case at the Victoria Road court and asked for the Probation Service to carry out a pre-sentence report on the defendant, of Borrowdale Street, Belle Vue, Hartlepool.

Mr Taylor adjourned the case for three weeks, until Monday, April 8, for the report to be compiled, and released Leneghan on unconditional bail.