May 2013

Walking free: the man who downloaded 30,000 child abuse images

murawski

A MAN who downloaded more than 30,000 images of child sexual abuse on his home computer has walked free from court.

A tip-off from Luxembourg led police to arrest 25-year-old Daniel Murawski in Bournemouth.

A police forensic examiner found 30,317 still and moving images of children on his computer.

But a court released him on a three-year supervision order.

The sentence comes as the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre warned of a rising number of children put at risk by the availability of child abuse images online.

Clive Chamberlain, chairman of Dorset Police Federation, said: “I don’t think it sends out the right message to would-be sex offenders. I have seen people go to prison for downloading fewer indecent images; there should be more consistency in sentencing.

“I am also concerned that those who want to get away with downloading child pornography could possibly be encouraged to come to Dorset by this sentence which I simply don’t understand.”

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns added: “The internet is providing a shield behind which unsavoury people are hiding and children are being exploited and I think it’s incumbent on all judges to hand out the severest sentences to people to send out a signal that there’s no place to hide.”

Bournemouth Crown Court heard how police had raided Murawski’s home in Howeth Road on September 13, 2011, after receiving information from the Luxembourg authorities linking him to a forum on which indecent images of children were posted.

A police forensic examiner found 30,317 still and moving images of children ranging in seriousness from grade one to the most serious grade five offences.

During interview Murawski said computer programming was his hobby and accepted he downloaded the images. But he denied any sexual interest in children.

In his defence, the court heard that Murawski was a man of good character who was “appalled” by his behaviour and wanted help to address his “problem”.

His employers said they were prepared to keep him on if he was not sent to prison and, despite being shocked, his family were also supporting him.

Judge Peter Johnson told Murawski, who admitted making indecent images of children: “You are physically 25 but emotionally barely out of your teens. What you did was clearly wrong.”

He imposed a three-year supervision order, with the condition that Murawski attends the Thames Valley sex offenders’ programme.

A 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) was imposed and Murawski will be a registered sex offender for five years.

Speaking to the Echo after the case, Murawski expressed remorse for his actions.

He said: “I’ve done wrong but I want to change.