July 2023

Alert system and sniffer dog snare men in possession of indecent images of children

A paedophile has been jailed for two years for making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children after an electronic monitoring service alerted police to his offending.

Registered sex offender Connor Jackson, 27 years, of Seel Street, Liverpool city centre, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to two years in prison for possession of indecent images of a child (categories A, B and C) and breach of a sexual harm prevention order.

Following an operation by Merseyside Police Sex Offender Unit on 24 March, Jackson and his co-accused Thomas Edward Stanley, 33, of Phoenix Brow, St Helens were arrested simultaneously and their homes searched.

The warrants were triggered by an alert from eSafe Global monitoring service – the first time the pioneering system has been used successfully by Merseyside Police to identify offending. It flagged that Jackson had accessed a suspicious image on his device.

Merseyside Police Sex Offender Unit invested in the software to improve monitoring of registered sex offenders and their online activity. When suspicious activity is identified, an alert is sent to police for further enquiries to be conducted.

The investigation revealed Jackson had been in conversation with a man who had sent him a video of another screen which displayed an indecent video of a boy.

This was followed by the text message: “Not the best quality but I’ll get a USB for you tomorrow.”

Police were able to identify the man in conversation with Jackson was Stanley, another registered sex offender. The interaction meant Stanley was in breach of a condition on his Sexual Harm Prevention Order not to associate with other registered sex offenders.

Police attended the homes of both men and used a specialist digital media search dog – PD Stanley (pictured below) – to look for devices. The canines are trained to sniff out anything that could have electronic storage including a full range of digital devices, such as mobile phones, USB memory sticks and even SIM cards.

As a result, a number of items were recovered at Thomas Stanley’s home, including the USB stick referred to in the messages, which contained Category A (the most severe), B and C images. Other devices recovered from his home contained further indecent images.

Jackson’s phone was recovered when his address was searched and it was found to contain Category A, B and C indecent images and videos of children.

Both men were charged and later pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of their sexual harm prevention orders as well as offences relating to indecent images.

Stanley was sentenced on 1 June 2023 to 32 months imprisonment for breach of a sexual harm prevention order, distributing indecent photographs of children, making indecent photographs of children and possessing an indecent photograph of a child.