‘Truly disgusting’ child sex offender from jailed for 23 years

A “truly disgusting” paedophile from Ellesmere Port who incited three children to engage in sexual activity has been jailed for a total of 23 years.

David McMurtry, 49, of William Johnson Gardens, was found guilty after a trial of 10 charges of child sex offences against three young girls, the youngest of whom being just seven or eight years old at the time of the offences.

McMurtry was also found guilty of possessing 26 indecent images of children. He had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing 161 prohibited images of children.

Sentencing at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, February 27, Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett said the evidence against McMurtry had been “overwhelming” and the jury had “rightly” found him guilty of all charges.

Prosecuting, Nicholas Williams said the offences began more than 10 years ago and occurred over a number of years. In each case, McMurtry had incited the young girls to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Everett agreed those three charges would be the most serious and, after taking into account the principle of totality, would impose consecutive sentences for those three counts.

The three victims – none of whom can be identified – had each come to court to read out their victim impact statements.

Each of them told of the “devastating impact” McMurtry had had on them, and how they would have nightmares and night terrors in the years following the sex attacks.

Between the three of them, they had suffered depression, anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia and felt like their social lives had been compromised. All spoke how their childhood had been taken away from them because of McMurtry’s actions.

One said: “I hate him and I am upset for what he did to me.”

The same victim also told how, after she had given her statement to police before the trial, there was an occasion when McMurty sat next to her at Ellesmere Port Market, making her feel very uncomfortable.

Another victim told how McMurty had seen her in the street about a year ago and he was laughing at her.

“I can’t put into words how much I hate him; he disgusts me,” she told the court.

Judge Everett said to the victims: “There is only one person to blame [for what has happened] and that is him. It’s not you. There is nothing that any of the three of you did wrong.”

The court heard while McMurtry had no previous convictions, he had taken advantage of three girls who were “extremely vulnerable”.

Judge Everett, sentencing, told McMurtry his behaviour had been “truly disgusting”.

He added: “Your victims had to go through the truly awful process of coming forward and giving evidence in court.

“They were courageous enough to give evidence against you. The one thing they should take from this is they were believed and everybody knows what you did to them when they were three young girls.

“You knew, or believed, that nobody could touch you, because of their sheer vulnerability.

“You showed you have no remorse or understanding of the damage you caused, sitting next to one of them at the market, laughing at another. It just showed you thought you were untouchable.

“The jury rightly saw through that and rightly convicted you of these terrible offences.

“I need to send out a message to you and to others that if they are ever tempted to do something like this, they will go to prison for the same length of time as you.

“I sentence to punish you and to protect the public from the likes of you and to send the message out to the public.

“You heard the victim statements and the devastating effect it has had. One can only hope they will be able to get some closure and get something of a decent life in the future.”

McMurtry was jailed for a total of 23 years and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Judge Everett told him: “In my judgment that is the least possible sentence. You will serve at least half that sentence, possibly more.”

McMurtry was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order prohibiting from making any sort of contact with the victims or unsupervised contact with any female under the age of 16 except with parental/guardian permission from someone aware of McMurtry’s convictions.

The order, among other requirements, prevents McMurtry from owning a device capable of storing images, data encryption software or having access to the internet, except in circumstances which allow police to monitor his usage.

The devices he used to obtain the indecent and/or prohibited images were to be forfeited and destroyed.

McMurtry showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.

Afterwards, Judge Everett told the victims and their families: “Any sentence that I pass here today is not long enough as far as you are concerned. I hope it gives you some sense of closure.

“There is only one person to blame here and that is the person who has gone through the door [to prison].”