December 2015

Carpenter sent child abuse images to undercover police officer

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A SELF-employed Herefordshire carpenter sent child abuse images and emails to a police officer posing as the stepmother of a young girl she said could be a “plaything,” a court heard.

Ricky MacGough was also found to have thousands of indecent images of children on two computers when police raided his home, Worcester Crown Court was told.

The 47-year-old father-of-three was found to be of interest to police in Kent due to an email address he had been using, Philip Bradley, prosecuting, told the court.

He said the address had been used to respond to a police officer posing as “Emma” and claiming to be the stepmother of a young girl called Chloe who could be a “potential plaything”.

MacGough, of Florence House, Holmer Trading Estate, had sent emails saying “having a young playmate would be awesome” and he would like to see pictures of young girls in their underwear.

He also sent images of children to win the stepmother’s trust in the hope she would respond with the pictures of the girl, Mr Bradley said.

Police traced the email address and raided his home in May last year.

He pleaded guilty to six charges of possessing a total of 2,235 images. He also admitted three charges of distributing child abuse images.

Mark Thompson, defending, said MacGough had admitted the charges which showed he was prepared to face up to his problem and there had been no direct contact with children.

He had already had to explain the offences to his grown-up son and a court order would make it difficult for him to carry out his work as a carpenter in homes where there were children present, Mr Thompson said.

Recorder Rachel Brand, QC, said MacGough could have gone to jail but she had decided he could be helped by a three year community order, to run concurrently on each charge.

She said the order would involve supervision by the probation service and a sex offenders group work programme with 150 hours unpaid work.