Grubby Fareham paedophile 'devoted to his work' tried to hide over 1,000 cartoon child abuse images

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A PAEDOPHILE ‘devoted to his work’ who was caught with nearly 1,300 cartoon child abuse images was told to cough up nearly £3,500 for his crimes.

But grubby Fareham pensioner Malcolm McLachlan, 76, was spared jail as well as another supervision order after a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court said previous programs had ‘not worked’.

Portsmouth Crown Court

Portsmouth Crown Court

The court heard how McLachlan tried to cover up his sick obsession when police arrived unannounced at the convicted paedophile’s address in Southmead Road last December.

As police combed his address for any incriminating evidence they noticed the defendant acting suspiciously.

Prosecutor Edward Elton said: ‘Police arrived unannounced at the defendant’s address to carry a routine visit when they noticed him trying to hide a computer memory card.

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‘Officers then seized his laptop where they found child abuse images including lots of moving cartoon images.’

In total police recovered four category B images and 99 category C images, as well as 1,171 prohibited cartoon depicted images.

Bespectacled McLachlan, who sat pensively in the dock, pleaded guilty to two charges of making indecent images of children and a count of possessing prohibited images.

The hearing was told the paedophile had previously been convicted of 55 offences of a ‘like nature’.

Defending Daniel Reilly said: ‘The possessing of prohibited images is the most serious offence – he only came into contact with these after finding the category B and C images.

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‘He is someone who was devoted to his work and now suffers depression since his mum’s passing. All his offences have taken place since her death. He is working through his issues.’

Mr Reilly added that McLachlan was in a ‘strong financial position’ so would be able to pay a fine.

Judge Roger Hetherington agreed to punish McLachlan with a financial penalty. 

‘Twice you have undertaken programs to prevent this type of offending but it doesn’t seem to be working,’ the judge said. ‘I’m not confident another supervision order would work.’

Instead McLachlan was fined £1,000 for each of the three offences and told to pay costs of £480. His sexual prevention order was extended for another five years. 

An NSPCC spokesperson said: ‘McLachlan’s actions provide further evidence of the vile online trade in indecent images of children.

‘The NSPCC is urging the government and the tech industry to work together to stop this material from being readily available online.