Businessman caught with images of child, 3, being sexually abused
A self-employed businessman from Lydiate whose premises were raided by police admitted to having sickening child porn images on his computer equipment.
57-year-old Mark O’Connor, who had been using internet search terms including ‘pre-teen hard core”, said to the officers, “I hold my hands up, it’s me.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard today (Friday) that when his two computers and two USB sticks, onto which he had transferred some of the indecent images, were forensically analysed a total of 252 images in all three categories of seriousness were found.
Iain Criddle, prosecuting, said that 29 were in the most serious category and they included 17 videos and involved children as young as three years old. O’Connor was also found to have two extreme porn images.
Police went to his business premises in Heysham Road, Bootle on June 23 after receiving technical information about indecent images and he admitted they would find such material.
It was found he had been using peer-to-peer software to facilitate his searches and although he had deleted the images on the USB sticks the experts were able to trace them.
Sentencing O’Connor, Judge Anil Murray pointed out, “These were real children, real victims of sexual abuse you were watching.”
He told him “You say you are ashamed at your behaviour and so you should be.”
The judge said he would have imposed a suspended prison sentence but the longest period he could suspend it for was two years which was not long enough for the probation service to work on his rehabilitation.
He imposed a three year community sentence and ordered him to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and 60 days rehabilitation activities. He also ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years and imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same length of time.
The judge warned O’Connor that if he breached any of the orders he would be brought back before him and “I will lock you up.”
O’Connor, of Virginia Grove, Lydiate, had pleaded guilty to five offences involving making indecent images of children, possessing them and possessing two extreme porn images.