Nelson teenager had vile stash of child porn

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A Nelson teenager who had a vile stash of over 200 child porn videos and almost 1,700 still images- half of them showing girls aged just five or six - was spared custody.

Joshua Peter McConachie, then an IT worker, was caught after police received information about indecent images being uploaded and raided his home. The disgusting pictures were found on a laptop, a pen drive and another device.

McConachie, who had downloaded photos when he was 18 and said to be “experimenting and curious,” had 120 videos and 404 still images at Category A, the most serious level.

He walked free from court, after a judge said McConachie had contributed to the victims being abused, but it he was sent to custody no useful offence-related work would be done with him and he would get more help out of prison than in it.

The defendant, now 19, of Townsley Street, had admitted six allegations of making an indecent photograph of a child and six counts of possessing an indecent photograph of a child, between June 2013 and last July.

McConachie received 12 months in a young offenders institution, suspended for two years and was ordered to sign the sexual offenders register for 10 years. He was also made subject to a 10 year sexual harm prevention order, to control his use of the internet. He had no previous convictions.

Prosecutor Miss Emma Kehoe said police received information the user of an IP address had uploaded Category A images in May, last year. It was through a chat room and searches had been made.

Inquiries were made with Virgin Media, who were the providers of the IP address and then officers got a warrant for McConachie’s home, which he shared with others.

Miss Kehoe said officers seized a laptop, a USB pen drive and a Samsung device from the defendant’s bedroom. He was arrested on July 17 and made no comment when questioned. The high -tech crime unit examined the equipment. On the laptop, police discovered 120 videos at Category A, 55 videos at Category B and 41 videos at Category C. On the other devices, they found 404 still images at Category A, 323 at Category B and 968 at Category C.

The defendant was then interviewed again, fully admitted being in possession of the pictures and said he had found them on the internet and had downloaded them onto the pen drive and Samsung device from the laptop, where he had searched for them.

Philip Holden, for McConachie, told the hearing :” It appears to be a process of an adolescent becoming an adult, in which there was a degree of experimentation and curiosity. I am not seeking in any way to justify or excuse what he has done, but it’s very unusual for a defendant of his age to be in a crown court for these sort of offences.”

Mr Holden said the defendant had had to resign from his IT job and was now working on an assembly line. The barrister added:” He wants to work. He wants to be a constrictive member of society. He has indicated he would comply with whatever requests were imposed upon him by the court and is a defendant who is unlikely to return to this court in future.”

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told the defendant :” One way or another, you, by watching and downloading all these images, have contributed to the abuse of children somewhere, who should not be subjected to this form of activity.”

Judge Woolman continued :” There is some hope that you can be persuaded not to watch indecent images of this kind in the future, partly because you are young, partly because you admitted the matters to police and partly because you pleaded guilty.”

He added: “I hope the experience of coming to this crown court at such a young age has taught you the lesson that you don’t want this to happen again.”