December 2010

Paedophile sent explicit messages to police in snare operation

A PAEDOPHILE who thought he was communicating with an 11 year-old girl sent her images of child abuse, indecent photos of himself and told her graphically how he wanted to have sex with her, a court heard.

But instead Mark Conley found his home in Greenbank Avenue, Plymouth being raided by police on February 8.

Officers found more than 1,000 pictures and films of child abuse, some of it extreme, stored on alaptop and memory sticks.

They also found an item of a girl’s clothing, written material and a mobile phone containing 46 texts relating to child abuse.

Conley used a file-sharing system and had folders with images of 15 individually-named young girls.

His explicit text messages included one in which he claimed to have had sex with a three year-old and another saying he wanted to rape a child of three in a park.

He pleaded guilty to a total of 23 charges including making, possessing and distributing indecent images of a child and encouraging the commission of an offence.

Prosecutor David Gittins said that of the 1,905 still pictures and 252 movies seized by police, 449 stills and 76 movies were in the most serious categories four and five.

Conley, 36, also had 13 stills and one movie of extreme pornography.

He admitted accessing the file-sharing system between May 2007 and February this year and that he had sexual thoughts about young children.

Malcolm Clarke, for Conley, said his client had many problems in life including mild autism and had no social contacts.

Because of his learning difficulties, he found it hard to grasp the harm done to the young children involved.

But after describing a horrific scene in one of the images, Judge Francis Gilbert QC told Conley: “I cannot accept that you did not appreciate the seriousness of what was going on.

“These were some of the worst images I have ever seen in cases of this sort.

“I realise that prison will be difficult for you and that you will be vulnerable but you simply have to be punished in this way.”

The judge said the contact with a person Conley believed to be a girl of 11 showed “extreme depravity”.

He sentenced Conley to three years in prison, ordered him to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and passed an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order.