September 2022

Paedo travelled to Spain without telling the police

A paedophile has been jailed after being found with horrific images of child abuse and bestiality on his phone and after he travelled to Spain without telling the police.

Ian Munro, 33, of Eastwood, Windmill Hill, Runcorn, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday for sentence having pleaded guilty to a raft of charges relating to breaching his sex offender register notification requirements and the sick stash of photographs and videos on his iPhone.

Brett Williamson, prosecuting, said police executed warrants on March 30 last year at Munro’s brother’s and mother’s homes in Runcorn where he had been known to stay.

Officers had received information that indecent images had been uploaded to the internet via a Kik Messenger account linked to a Microsoft user called “Ian M”. Following the warrants, Munro agreed to provide the the police with the code to unlock his iPhone, which was found in his bedroom at his mum’s house.

Forensic examination discovered the device contained a vile collection of 283 indecent images of children.

Of these, 73 were of the most appalling type in Category A – including seven videos; 107 in Category B, of which two were videos; and 103 at Category C including one video.

The device also had 29 images and three videos of bestiality involving humans with dogs and horses, and 13 “prohibited” cartoon images of children.

Munro gave “no comment” answers in interview with Cheshire Police.

Despite already being subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and suspended sentence imposed in October 2020 for convictions of inciting a young teenager to engage in sexual activity and sexual communication when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison – suspended for two years, and despite having received clear reminders of the terms of the SHPO and sex offender register notification requirements as recently as May 5, 2022, Munro flew to Spain within the following fortnight, returning via Manchester Airport on May 20.

The trip breached a condition that he must inform the police in advance of any plan to travel abroad.

He was arrested under caution on May 26 and gave “no comment” answers in interview.

Munro had previous convictions including the incitement and communication charges referred to above from 2020, plus a sexual assault on a boy from when Munro was 15 years old in 2004.

In relation to the offences for which he fell to be sentenced on Friday, he pleaded guilty at North Cheshire Magistrates’ Court in Warrington on August 15 to possessing indecent images of children; three counts of making indecent images for Categories A, B and C; possessing extreme pornography; possessing prohibited images of children, namely cartoons; and failing to comply with the terms of the notification requirements.

At Chester Crown Court on Friday, he pleaded guilty to a further charge of breaching a suspended sentence.

Jeremy Rawson, appearing for the defence, pleaded mitigation for Munro’s prompt guilty pleas, and said his client’s engagement with probation was “positive and continuing” – prompting Judge Michael Leeming to retort that Munro “went off to Spain”.

Mr Rawson resumed his representations, telling the court that although he agreed with the prosecution’s categorisation and the breach was “deliberate”, he said there was “clear regret and remorse” that “shows there’s an understanding of the nature of his offending”.

He added: “His partner speaks highly of him, his mother speaks highly of him – his mother has a medical condition he assists with.”

Mr Rawson said Munro had provided the pin number for his phone to the police and had waited over a year for the indecent images matter to reach court.

Munro was facing his first custodial sentence and Mr Rawson called on the judge to consider the principle of “totality”, adding although he agreed the suspended sentence had to be activated, he asked the judge to pass the “shortest possible” term.

Judge Leeming said he had read a pre-sentence report in addition to letters from Munro, his partner and his mother, although he said Munro’s partner “was plainly unaware of the most recent offences of the indecent images”.

The judge sentenced Munro to three years in prison to be served immediately.

There were concurrent sentences for the indecent image charges with each other, plus consecutive sentences for the register breach and activating his suspended sentence.

The judge said that although uploaded images had triggered the images investigation, Munro was not charged with, or sentenced for, distribution.

He placed Munro on a fresh SHPO for 10 years and on the sex offenders register for life.

Sending him down, Judge Leeming said: “You must understand that these are not victimless offences.

“Downloading this sort of material stimulates the demand, and so continues the abuse.

“The existence of indecent images of children indicates contact offences are taking place somewhere in the world and each child is facing re-victimisation each time an image is accessed in the knowledge their image is viewed for someone’s sexual gratification.”