Patrick Maughan – Crook
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April 2015 – Sentenced to 4 yrs in prison with a 3 year extended licence upon release
Warrant issued for arrest of man convicted for accessing indecent child images
A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of a man convicted for accessing a large haul of indecent images of children, as well as extreme pornography.
Police are trying to trace Patrick Maughan after he failed to turn up for the final day of his trial at Durham Crown Court this week.
The 55-year-old, Helmington Row, near Crook, County Durham, attended the first three days of the hearing, earlier in the week.
He denied 16 counts of making indecent images of a child, one of possession of 713 such images, another of possessing extreme pornography, relating to 54 images of adults involved in sexual acts with animals.
Maughan also denied plus two counts of doing acts tending, and intended to pervert the course of justice relating to threatening messages sent via an inadvertent third party to his ex-partner, after she left him, in November 2013.
The alleged offences spanned a period from June 2010 up to December 2013.
It mainly related to material found by police on examining four items of computer equipment seized in visits to Maughan’s home, in Church Street, in June and December, 2012.
Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, said the browsing history indicated Maughan sought similar material on all computers, appearing to particularly have a penchant for sleeping, naked young girls.
Many of the searches were attributed to ‘Paddy’, but he also used the name of a female relative.
In his defence Maughan claimed other people had access to the computer equipment while he also named people who had visited his home during that period.
He could not explain for the presence of the material or why other people may access it using his computers.
But, after giving evidence as part of his defence case, on Wednesday (March 18), Maughan was unexpectedly not present for the start of the closing speeches and judge’s summing up of evidence, on Thursday (March 19).
Miss Kidd and defence counsel, Andrew Walker, agreed with Judge Simon Hickey, that the hearing could continue in the defendant’s absence.
The jury retired late on Thursday to consider its verdicts.
Following less than 90-minutes’ deliberation, they returned unanimous ‘guilty’ verdicts on 19 of the 20 charges, clearing Maughan of one of the two counts of perverting the course of justice.
In the light of the verdict, with the defendant still not present, Judge Hickey issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Maughan.
A Durham Police spokesman confirmed this evening (Friday Match 20), that 24 hours on from the issuing of the bench warrant, Maughan was still at large.
But he added that the manhunt would continue over the weekend.