Colin McFarlane – Hawarden
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Pervert avoids prison over indecent images of children & beastiality pics
A MAN who was found to have downloaded indecent images of children and of people having sex with animals has escaped an immediate prison sentence.
But a crown court judge has warned people who think they can get away with viewing disgusting material in the privacy of their own homes can easily be caught and will usually go to jail.
Images downloaded by Colin McFarlane were discovered on his computer when police executed a search warrant at his house while he was on holiday.
MacFarlane, a carer for his wife and mother-in-law, pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court yesterday to making indecent images of children by downloading them from the internet, possessing them and distributing one indecent image.
MacFarlane, 59, of Longfellow Avenue, Hawarden, a man of no previous convictions, admitted nine charges said to have taken place between September, 2012 and November, 2014
Judge Geraint Walters told MacFarlane that while character references said he was a decent, honest, hard-working and caring man, those who wrote them did not know there was “a dark side to your existence”.
“That dark side, as I call it, involved you accessing pornographic images of children and extreme porn.
“On one single occasion you allowed another internet user to access one of those images that you had downloaded. That amounts to distribution which makes this a difficult sentencing exercise.”
Judge Walters said it was a myth that people who engaged in such behaviour were not doing any harm.
Real people were being abused and every time the children involved were viewed by adults he or she
was being abused again.
“It is a myth that needs to be dispelled. They are real people being abused over and over again in the way that I have described,” he said.
Judge Walters said he had to look at the reality of a single image being distributed by a man who was plainly remorseful and who had sought help.
“I don’t have a shadow of a doubt that life became somewhat miserable for you because of the needs of others,” the jujdge said.
“You went into a dark place and sought solace on the internet, allowing yourself to be dragged deeper and deeper into the kind of material that now brings you before the crown court.”
Judge Walters said MacFarlane was an individual who could be drawn back from the brink of destruction if he were given a chance to undergo an intensive sex offender programme designed for those who downloaded such images.
A prison term was inevitable, he said, but the sentence would be suspended.
He imposed a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision and a two year intensive sex offender programme.
MacFarlane must also register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years and a 10-year sexual harm prevention order was imposed to curb his future activities.
The judge added: “If people out there think that just because they are accessing this sort of material in the privacy of their own homes that the authorities don’t have the ability to detect them, then they are wrong.
“Other people out there perhaps intending to do it or who are doing it now must realise that the time will come when they will suffer the indignity of appearing in the crown court. The time to stop it is now.”
MacFarlane admitted three charges of making indecent images of children by downloading them off the internet – involving category A, the most serious, and categories B and C.
He pleaded guilty to possessing a total of 718 images – 372 at level A, 257 at level B and 89 at level C.
He admitted making a category A movie by downloading it off the internet, possessing category A images, and two charges of possessing extreme porn.
He also admitted distribution.
David Mainstone, prosecuting, said there was no one at home when police executed a search warrant at McFarlane’s home on November 6 last year. He was arrested the same morning at a holiday caravan in Bala where he was with his wife and mother-in-law.
The defendant made full admissions in interview.