Harvey Mulcahy – Alston
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Pervert downloaded photos of girls as young as four
A MAN who downloaded photos of girls as young as four used technology developed by the US Navy as he sought to evade detection, a court heard.
Dubbed “hidden web”, the specialist equipment was found on a computer used by Harvey Mulcahy, 29, at his home in Alston.
Through this, he sought to anonymise searches of the internet before downloading scores of indecent images of young girls. Some of the photos later recovered were classed in the most serious category.
However, police were able to uncover his tracks and at Carlisle Crown Court today (THURS), Mulcahy was sentenced having admitted 11 counts of making the still and moving images during a six-year period.
He escaped a jail term after Judge Paul Batty QC decided that a stringent community order would both address the problems he has and protect others in the community.
“This is a very troubling case,” said Judge Batty, “because you have admitted the downloading of the most revolting imagery of children being sexually abused.
“They represent real, actual sexual abuse of young children, in your case the ages ranging from four to 13. You were doing it for your own sexual gratification.”
Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, said Mulcahy’s crimes came to light after police visited his Brampton Road home on the morning of 22nd October, 2013. Members of the force’s child abuse internet protection unit were met by his parents, who said they had no knowledge of indecent images being viewed at that property.
Mulcahy was located in his bedroom and admitted he had seen indecent images “years ago” but denied viewing anything recently.
However, he was arrested and police seized both a laptop and mobile phone from him. On the laptop were 44 category A still images, 27 category B and 56 classed in category C. Four moving category A images were also recovered. Other images were found on his phone.
“The images were mostly of female children, particularly pre-pubescent girls of ages ranging from four years to 13 years,” said Mr. Rogerson.
“When the internet history was examined, certain key words had been used to download files. The words were indicative with searches being made for illegal images of children.”
However, Mulcahy had sought to hide his offending. On his computer police found he had a browser, developed by the US Navy to improve government communications.
The aim of this was to “bounce communications around a distribution network of relays” to prevent people learning which websites he had been visiting. “This is known as the ‘hidden web’ or ‘dark web’,” added Mr. Rogerson.
Software was also fitted which allowed files to be sent to him from other users. However, there was no suggestion that Mulcahy had distributed images, the court heard.
He was interviewed by police three times but on each occasion made no comment.
Alison Whalley, defending, said Mulcahy was already subject to the terms of the sex offenders’ register.
He had admitted the offences at an early stage of the court proceedings and was keen to take the steps needed to address his issues.
“He has problems. He is sexually attracted to children. He clearly needs help and he is motivated to work with organisations to get that help,” said Miss Whalley.
“He is highly regarded in the community which is clear from the character references.”
Judge Batty ruled that Mulcahy must undergo specialist supervision for the maximum period of three years, and follow the demanding terms of a sex offender treatment order.
Mulcahy was also made subject to a sexual offences prevention order for an indefinite period. This means he must follow a host of strict requirements.
“All of that is designed to rid you of this desire to view this material. This is the last chance you will get,” Judge Batty told him.
Man admits possessing indecent images of children
Harvey Mulcahy, 29, entered guilty pleas to a total of 11 charges when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today.
Mulcahy, of Brampton Road, Alston, made more than 100 indecent still and moving photographs of children, one of whom was aged just seven years. The offences took place between August, 2007, and October, 2013.
The case was adjourned until April 30, when Mulcahy will return to the crown court for sentence. Background reports will be prepared in the meantime.
Mulcahy was remanded on bail. One of the conditions states that he must not have any unsupervised contact with any children aged under 16.
Judge Peter Hughes QC told him: “You are now subject to notification requirements of sex offender registration. You must provide details of your address at all times and cannot leave the country without notification or authorisation.”