May 2016

Computer repair shop found indecent child image as Ilfracombe man’s screensaver

SHOCKED engineers in North Devon alerted the police after they found a sexual image of a 13-year-old girl was being used as a customer’s screen saver.

Robin MacPherson took his broken laptop into a shop in Ilfracombe and when technicians got it working they saw an inappropriate image appear on the display.

Police experts found recovered more than 1,300 indecent images of children including 38 showing very serious abuse. There were also two images of women engaged in sex acts with a horse.

MacPherson, 61, of Chichester Close, Ilfracombe, admitted three counts or making indecent images of children and one of making an extreme pornographic image.

He was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years and ordered to attend an internet sex offender’s course by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court.

He also ordered MacPherson to sign the sex offenders register and made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which allows police to monitor his internet use in the future.

He told him: “The evidence shows you have a deviant interest in images of young children. Your efforts to deny that will fall on stony ground in the course of the treatment programme.

“If you continue to maintain your denials and are uncooperative you will come back here and will go to prison.”

Caroline Bolt, for the prosecution, said MacPherson was found with 38 of the worst category A images, 62 at the lesser category B and 1,215 at the lowest level of category C.

She said: “The defendant’s computer was sent for repair and when it was examined the screen saver was found to show a category 3 image of a child of about 13,

“It caused the staff at the repair centre some distress and after they checked it was not the result of a malfunction, they called the police. He told police he did not look at material of that sort.”

Emily Cook, for the defence, urged the judge to follow the suggestions of a probation report which said MacPherson was suitable for a treatment programme despite his continuing to deny any sexual interest in children.