December 2018

Judge rejects Wrexham teen’s claim that his porn was gathered while trying to catch on-line paedos

A teenager claimed that he had porn on his computer because he was out to catch on line paedophiles.

But his explanation was dismissed as nonsense by Judge Rhys Rowlands who said it was not the first time he had heard such a claim.

Haniel Lonergan from Wrexham was found to have a vast amount of images and films on his computer.

He admitted making by downloading 64 images and films at the most serious category A, 181 at category B and 303 at category C.

But a further 114,600 had not been categorised, said barrister Gemma Gordon, prosecuting at Mold Crown Court.

Interviewed by police, Lonergan he said he visited sites which contained indecent images to expose paedophilic activity, a claim he repeated to a probation officer who prepared his pre-sentence report.

Judge Rowlands said that was a nonsense which he put down to Lonergan’s immaturity.

“I have seen this in five or six cases,” he said.

“Something must be doing the rounds on social media – if you get an early morning knock off the police say that you are try to find paedophiles.”

He said Lonergan was “no detective trying to hunt down paedophiles on the web” and added: “Let’s forget that now. It makes no sense whatsoever.”

Lonergan, 18, of Galaxy Grove in Brynteg, who started downloading the material when he was 15, was placed on a two year community order under which he will undergo rehabilitation and a probation service programme to challenge his thinking.

A five year sexual harm prevention order was made and he was ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for five years.

Miss Gordon said police acting on intelligence executed a search warrant at the home he shared with his parents on April 21.

The user of a Google account known as Mr Shaddow had been accessing sites which contained images of child sex abuse.

She said the ages of the children in the downloaded images ranged from 12 months to 16 years.