June 2016

Paedophile back in jail after hiding internet searches for ‘young children’


A paedophile is back in jail after deleting his internet history to hide searches for ‘young children’.

John Arthur Connell, 61, was jailed for four years in 2010 for possession and distribution of thousands of indecent images of children.

Connell claimed he had been “trying to sort his life out” and no longer “mentally undressed children he saw in the street” since his release in 2012.

But he was jailed for 16 weeks after pleading guilty to breaching a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) severely restricting his use of the internet and making it illegal for him to hide or delete his search history.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today heard that the sex offender showed a flagrant disregard for the order and had been searching for pictures of children before covering his tracks.

Michael Cain, prosecuting, told the court that police attended Connell’s address in Harefield Road, Speke, on January 14 last year to check his compliance with the order.

Mr Cain said: “There was a laptop open which was powered up in front of where the defendant had been sitting.

“The defendant said he had been spending a lot of time updating his music database for his CD collection. The officers asked to look at his internet history in order to check his searches and internet use. This seemed to make Mr Connell somewhat nervous.”

The officers found that the search history was empty, and found that an option had been selected to automatically delete it.

An analysis of his computer could not recover the searches.

Connell claimed he had been trying to remove a virus and the anti-virus software had deleted his history.

The court heard he later admitted in interview that he had been searching for pictures of children.

Mr Cain said: “He said he had been searching for young models, but later admitted he had been searching for young children.

“He had been searching for images of females between 13 and 15 who were clothed. He told officers he found them pretty to look at and thought it would be legal.”

Scott Phillips, defending, said: “He says he was trying to get rid of a virus from his computer which deleted his search history. He knows this was a serious, serious mistake.”

He said Connell suffered from depression, arthritis and diabetes.

However magistrates’ described the breach as a “flagrant disregard” for court orders and sent Connell to prison.