September 2018

Computer consultant had indecent images of children

A computer security consultant has been sentenced following a complex police investigation into indecent photographs of children.

Following a trial at York Crown Court, Malcolm McKeating, 67, from Harrogate, was found guilty of making indecent category B and C photographs of children, between May 2007 and February 2016. He was sentenced to four months, suspended for two years.

McKeating was originally arrested in February 2016 on suspicion of possession of indecent material, and then bailed pending further investigation.

Much of the computer hardware seized by North Yorkshire Police was encrypted, requiring considerable time and expertise to examine it.

Some files and other information had been deleted, meaning recovery was only possible using specialist forensic software.

In interview, the self-employed computer security consultant claimed the machines must have been remotely accessed or subjected to a virus, but officers found no evidence to support this.

Aside from the suspended prison sentence, Judge Paul Worsley QC also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order of seven years’ duration.

During sentencing, Judge Worsley said he was satisfied McKeating had offended for a number of years, adding: “You are clearly in denial and have clearly not been able to admit it to your wife and family.”

McKeating also has to pay prosecution costs and register as a sex offender.