August 2016

Wirral father jailed after sex chats with young girls and downloading child abuse images


A father-of-three who had sex chats with two young girls via Skype and also downloaded indecent photographs of children was jailed for two years today.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that, bizarrely, Richard Donnelly’s perverted behaviour only came to light after he notified the NSPCC about his concerns over a 12-year-old girl he had been chatting with in America.

He told officers he was concerned about her relationship with her step-father who had been indecently touching her and he feared he would bring friends around to have sex with her.

But meanwhile it was found that she had sent Donnelly photos of her breasts and sexual equipment and they had chatted about them.

The NSPCC contacted the police and he was arrested in February last year and his computer and electronic devices were seized, said Neil Biswarya, prosecuting.

When forensically examined, experts found that as well as 17 child porn images in all three categories of seriousness he had been having “highly sexualised chats” with a 13-year-old via Skype.

52-year-old Donnelly, of Arley Close, Prenton, pleaded guilty to four indecent image charges and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Jailing him Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said: “This is on any view a disturbing case.”

He said there could be no doubt about the purpose of his on-line conversations with the two girls, although he did not face a charge involving the American child.

Donnelly’s barrister Katy Appleton said that he did not accept there was any sexual motive in his behaviour but the judge said that phrases he had used included “jail bait.”

Miss Appleton said that he could not remember the conversations because of drink, amphetamines and pain-killers but he accepted them.

He had been working at a computer shop but was now signed off sick because of spinal problems and the images on his machine had inadvertently resulted from his work, she said.

But Judge Conrad pointed out that Donnelly was “computer savvy” and added: “What is also disturbing is your attitude towards your offending and only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”

He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years and he imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.