September 2020

Paedophile with ‘library’ of 20,000 child sex abuse images spared jail

A paedophile who had a “library of child sexual abuse images” has been spared jail.

When police arrived at Andrew Ryan’s family home and told him why they were there he replied “Oh s***”.

The 55-year-old, of Headingly Close, St Helens, shielded his face with a cap and mask as he left Liverpool Crown Court 

The paedophile began keeping sickening images of children for 10 years and owned over 20,000 indecent images of children.

Tony O’Donohoe, prosecuting, today told the court that officers attended Ryan’s address on July 30 last year with a search warrant.

He explained that after being told by officers why they were there, Ryan said “Oh s***” and admitted he owned the photos.

Mr O’Donohoe said: “During the search, a large amount of computer equipment was seized promptly from the upstairs room used as a home office by the defendant.”

Police found 934 images of children being raped, 789 images of children involving non-penetrative activity and 19,431 indecent images of children not engaged in sexual activity.

In total Ryan had 21,154 indecent images of children and seven images of extreme pornography.

When found the images had been categorised into a “library of pornography”, Mr O’Donohoe explained.

He told the court there was also software on the drives which allowed the user to quickly jump from file to file.

As well as the illegal files police also found a “great deal of adult pornography”, the court heard.

In a police statement, Ryan said: “I’m ashamed of what I’ve done and can only apologise.”

Ryan, who has worked as a joiner in the past, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Thomas Teague, QC, sentencing, detailed the risks of becoming addicted to pornography.

He noted that “the fact the law doesn’t criminalise an activity” doesn’t mean it should be done.

Speaking of other cases seen before the courts, the judge said: “The offender becomes addicted and notably progresses to more sinister material.”

The judge concluded that Ryan’s ongoing rehabilitation would be more effective in reducing risk to the public than the four months he would spend behind bars.

Judge Teague handed an eight-month prisons sentence suspended for 18 months.

He must complete 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirements and sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order was also put in place for 10 years.

Judge Teague ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the hard drives.