Pae­dophile spared jail as it would be ‘drain on pub­lic money’


Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By AMY JACK­SON

A TRAINEE po­lice­man who down­loaded the ‘worst form’ of child abuse has avoided prison af­ter a judge sug­gested jail­ing him would be a ‘drain’ on pub­lic money.

Peter McIl­duff, 39, was ar­rested af­ter de­tec­tives learned he was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with a known pae­dophile in an in­ter­net chat room where child abuse pic­tures and films were traded.

Of­fi­cers seized a lap­top from McIl­duff’s locker at Wythen­shawe Po­lice Sta­tion plus other de­vices from his rented digs in Stock­port and found 500 ex­plicit pic­tures of young­sters be­ing abused – in­clud­ing 69 ‘cat­e­gory A’ im­ages, de­scribed by the judge as the ‘worst form of this de­praved filth.’

Var­i­ous phrases were found in con­junc­tion with the im­ages in­clud­ing ‘13 year old paedo-chil­dren porn.’

The pic­tures were down­loaded over a three-year pe­riod be­tween 2015 and 2018 al­though McIl­duff who op­er­ated un­der the pseu­do­nym ‘DreamCatcher003’ said he had deleted them be­fore he started his for­mal train­ing with Greater Manch­ester Po­lice. He has since sought coun­selling.

At Min­shull Street Crown Court, McIl­duff, from Hal­i­fax, West Yorks, pleaded guilty to mak­ing and pos­sess­ing in­de­cent im­ages of a child and was given 12 months in jail, sus­pended for two years. He will also en­rol on a two-year sex of­fend­ers pro­gramme.

Judge Paul Law­ton told him: ‘’You are a con­victed pae­dophile and you ac­knowl­edge that your­self but you have at­tended to get­ting as­sis­tance of a sort which stops you from go­ing to cus­tody. You have also pleaded guilty and ac­cept you want help for your gen­uine real is­sues, namely your at­trac­tion to un­der­age chil­dren. “As there has been a rise in de­fen­dants go­ing to prison, there is a drain on re­sources and staff. Had you been given im­me­di­ate im­pris­on­ment, you would have been re­leased af­ter six months from cus­tody and you would not have re­ceived the ser­vice that can help you in cus­tody and you would have re­ceived no as­sis­tance. There­fore I can sus­pend that sen­tence.’’ He added: “Look­ing at a man in your po­si­tion, you had a good record. You were go­ing to be a po­lice of­fi­cer prior to this crime in which child pornog­ra­phy was found be­tween March 2015 and March 2018 – you down­loaded many, many in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren, 69 of which were cat­e­gory A im­ages, which is the worst form of this de­praved filth. From over a three-year pe­riod you abused im­ages of chil­dren be­tween the ages of three and 15. These were gen­er­ally of a cat­e­gory of de­prav­ity which you used for your own sex­ual sat­is­fac­tion.”

Jon Close, de­fend­ing, said: “He ac­cepts ex­actly why he was look­ing at the im­ages, he wants to stop.”

McIl­duff was or­dered to sign the Sex Of­fend­ers Reg­is­ter for five years and made sub­ject of a Sex­ual Harm Pre­ven­tion Or­der for 10 years.

These (im­ages) were gen­er­ally from a cat­e­gory of de­prav­ity you used for your sex­ual sat­is­fac­tion Judge Paul Law­ton

Peter McIl­duff was or­dered to sign the Sex Of­fend­ers Reg­is­ter

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