July 2017

Paedophile caught after using sick images of children as phone screensaver

A paedophile was caught after he used sick images of children as his screensaver.

The disturbing find was made by police called to the Eccles hostel where sex offender Simon McDonald was living.

McDonald’s mobile phone use is under strict legal conditions because he has a lengthy history of sex crimes.

But officers from Greater Manchester Police’s sex offender management unit learnt that while on licence from prison, McDonald, 39, was using two smartphones to talk to a ‘network’ of other perverts about molesting very young children, and to distribute harrowing images of child abuse downloaded from the web.

Now McDonald has been jailed for forty months after admitting charges of breaching a sexual harm prevention order, possessing an extreme pornographic image, and making and distributing child abuse images at Manchester Crown Court.

Remorseless McDonald was arrested after his room was searched and the phones were found on July 26 last year.

Beyond hiding one of the phones under the duvet, McDonald had made little attempt to conceal the latest offences.

“On both of these phones the screensaver displayed an indecent image of children”, prosecutor Simone Flynn said.

Around 1700 indecent images and 58 perverted chatlogs were found on the devices.

Back in 2004, McDonald was convicted of having sex with an underage girl.

Six years later he was convicted of possessing child abuse imagery, jailed and given a sexual offences prevention order designed to restrict his contact with children and internet use.

But, in the years since, he has repeatedly breached the order by not only continuing to hoard sick material, but even befriending an unsuspecting single mother with two children.

The authorities now consider that McDonald poses a ‘high risk’ to children, and an ‘imminent risk’ of causing serious harm to vulnerable females and young children.

Sending him down, Judge David Hernandez told McDonald his offences were ‘aggravated’ by the age, vulnerability and distress of the children depicted, the volume of images recovered, the fact he was in breach of licence conditions, and the fact he was part of a ‘network of distribution’.

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