Paedophile on ecstasy downloaded sick images onto his mum’s laptop
A paedophile downloaded child rape videos on a laptop he shared with his mum.
Michael Pegg amassed a sickening collection, which featured more than 5,000 indecent images of children.
The 44-year-old transferred the files to a hard drive so his mum wouldn’t find out, then viewed them on his TV.
When he was caught by police, the pervert blamed his behaviour on using “a lot of cannabis and ecstasy”.
But he walked free from court after a judge said he now recognised he had a problem and was “open to help to put it right”.
Liverpool Crown Court heard officers raided Pegg and his mum’s home in Hall Street, Southport, on July 4 last year.
Fiona McNeill, prosecuting, said police told Pegg they were acting on intelligence that his internet address had been used to download indecent images and asked if he knew anything about this, before he was cautioned and arrested.
A search was carried out and electrical items seized, including a laptop from one room and a hard drive from another.
Ms McNeill said: “When police took the hard drive the defendant said ‘that’s got my naughty stuff on’.”
The court heard Pegg was taken to hospital before he was interviewed due to concerns about his mental health.
Police experts found eight Category A – the most serious category – still images and videos of children being raped on his devices, including one showing a girl aged between six and eight
There were 214 Category B, 5,309 Category C, and in total 5,531 indecent images of children.
When interviewed, Pegg accepted making the comment to the police and said he downloaded the files on torrent sites.
Ms McNeill said he admitted downloading the files over four to five years and said he would then delete them “because he knew it was wrong”.
Pegg said he saved some files on his hard drive and would then connect this to his TV to view them.
Ms McNeill said he conceded there were “quite a lot” of indecent images of children of different ages.
She said: “He said he didn’t know how he became interested in this material and said he felt disgusted in himself.
“He said he made sure the images were transferred so his mum didn’t see them on the laptop, which she also used as well.”
Ms McNeill added: “He said at the time of downloading the images he was using a lot of cannabis and ecstasy.
“He denied having any sexual interest in children any longer, but accepted at the time he did.”
Pegg, who sat with his head bowed in shame in court, admitted three counts of downloading and one count of possessing indecent images of children.
Simon Christie, defending, said the Probation Service had provided a pre-sentence report for his client.
Judge Anil Murray said: “Are you going to try and persuade me to suspend the sentence?”
“Yes,” said Mr Christie, to which the judge replied: “Well I intend to do that.”
Mr Christie said that was his submission “for all the reasons set out in the report” and his client made “prompt admissions which are not commonplace in cases such as this”.
Judge Murray said: “I agree, he’s recognised he’s got a problem and he’s open to help to put it right.”
Mr Christie said: “He wasn’t expecting to come to court today, but when told he had to be here, he was on the train in double quick time.”
Judge Murray said Pegg was a man of “previous good character”, which was a mitigating feature, but added: “Well you’ve lost that now.”
He said the starting point in sentencing guidelines was 12 months in prison, before credit for his guilty plea, which reduced this to eight months.
Judge Murray said: “You were frank with the probation officer, you expressed what seems to be genuine remorse, and you had issues with drugs and depression.”
He added: “You’re thought to be some risk to the public, however, it is thought that there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in your case, given your remorse and your insight into your problems, and it’s thought your risk could be managed in the community.”
Judge Murray said because Pegg didn’t have any previous convictions there was no record of poor compliance with court orders and he had “strong personal mitigation”.
He said: “You’re not likely to get two chances, do you understand?”
The judge handed Pegg eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, and a Horizon sex offenders treatment programme.
Judge Murray said he was increasing the recommended rehabilitation from 10 to 20 hours because he wasn’t imposing any unpaid work.
He said: “It seems to me that the time is better spent helping you to get over this addiction and move away from it.”
Judge Murray told Pegg he must sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.
He reserved any breaches of the suspended sentence to himself and warned: “If you breach it, the chances are I will have to send you to prison.”