April 2022

Depraved paedophile caught with sick stash of nearly 2,000 child abuse images

A pervert was caught with an “appalling” stash of child rape and abuse images on his computer.

Police discovered nearly 2,000 of the horrific photos at the home of already convicted paedophile James Mercer

The 41-year-old was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) in 2013 after he was caught with a collection of indecent images of children.

The decade-long order prevented him from accessing the internet unless he retained the history and make it available for inspection by police.

When officers performed a routine check on his computer equipment, they discovered another library of indecent photos

 According to the charge, he downloaded the files over a three-year period between May 16, 2018 and March 17, 2021.

Mercer, from Kirkby in Merseyside, admitted downloading 368 Category A images – the most serious category involving child rape – plus 323 Category B and 1,306 Category C files.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he also pleaded guilty to possessing seven prohibited [cartoon or animated] images of a child.

Prosecutors said Mercer was not in fact in breach of the SOPO, as the sex offender had not deleted or attempted to manipulate his search history.

The judge, Recorder Michael Taylor, said his previous convictions were an aggravating feature of the case. He decided the offences were so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate.

Recorder Taylor jailed Mercer for 12 months and made him subject to a new indefinite SOPO. The judge told Mercer he must sign on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.