September 2018

Judge slams phone app that stopped police from fully investigating paedophile

The messenger app Kik stopped the police from fully investigating a paedophile, a court was told.

Judge Mark Horton criticised the app for limiting the probe into Andrew Donovan’s ‘unmanageable deviant sexual impulse and attitude to children’.

He labelled Kik’s policy on dealing with the police and paedophiles as ‘frustrating’ as he jailed Donovan for 28 months on Friday for sending indecent images to a child.

Bristol Crown Court heard Donovan, 35, contacted a 14-year-old boy from Newcastle via the app, breaching an order preventing him from contacting children.

Donovan exchanged 228 messages with him, asked for pictures and sent an indecent image.

They also talked about meeting up for ‘sexual relations’. Police found Donovan, of Knowle, Bristol, would message children under 18 on Facebook before moving onto the encrypted app Kik to talk to them more privately.

Kik allowed police access to messages with the teenager from Newcastle but refused to release others Donovan might have sent to other children because they had only received one complaint involving the boy.

Police also found Donovan smoking cannabis with a group of teenage boys, including two who were 16 at the time, at his flat in November 2016.

Judge Horton said: ‘This was a classic conversation by a man who has inadequacies in dealing with adults and finds it extremely easy to talk to a 14-year-old to get him to like him. ‘And that conversation turned very quickly to sexual matters.

‘It’s overwhelmingly obvious from all the evidence that you are someone that has an unmanaged and unmanageable deviant sexual impulse and attraction to children.

‘You have shown your tenacity, determination and your ability to find new ways to make contact with young persons, and when you do, you have a strong sexual attraction to them.

‘Despite the efforts of the probation service to prevent you, you have not engaged fully. You have no self-control mechanism. 

‘You have little remorse or understanding and you seek to blame others, that it was someone else’s fault for not finding a way to block you from contacting young, under-age people.’