November 2016

Man who has been accessing child abuse images since the age of 12 walks from court


A man who downloaded pictures and movies of child abuse has walked free from court.

Callum MacHardie stored and saved some of the vile material after searching for it online, a court heard.

But after being told the 26-year-old was suitable for a three year treatment programme a judge imposed a community order.

Mike Blitz, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how police went to his home in March, seized his computers and arrested MacHardie.

When he was first questioned he said he had never seen any images of child abuse online and nothing would be found on his computer.

“They were stored in a file named ‘one’ and there was evidence that that laptop had been used to search for indecent images of children,” he said.

A second computer was found to have similar search terms used on it and other movies were found to have been deleted.

On two further machines, although no images were found, a similar array of search terms had been used on them.

When he was questioned for a second time he accepted that the computer were all his and used by him but otherwise refused to answer questions.

MacHardie, of Arley Close, Abbey Meads, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of a child.

The probation service has said he is suitable for a treatment programme which is the best way of tackling any future risk of offending.

As a result of his arrest she said he had been forced to defer starting a degree course in anthropology at Durham University.

“Importantly you have insight into how looking at this material, such as you did, can create victims and every youngster who appears in these images is a the victim of a sexual offence.

“I also take into account what is said about your mental health issues and you are also someone who seems to have some potential as far as university is concerned.”

He imposed a three year community order with the Internet Sex Offenders Treatment Programme and 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

The judge also imposed a sexual harm prevention order for five years restricting his use of the internet.