February 2021

Paedophile who shared ‘evil’ child rape photos then vanished for three years spared jail

A paedophile who shared “evil” child rape photos has been spared jail after police couldn not track him down for three years.

Bryan Kelly downloaded 360 indecent images of children, featuring victims of sexual abuse aged as young as four.

But following a raid on his home in Durban Road, Old Swan on May 11, 2017, the dad-of-one dropped off the radar.

Liverpool Crown Court today heard Merseyside Police had been looking for the 47-year-old to further interview him.

However, he didn’t surrender himself until June 25 last year and a judge said there was “no obligation” on him to do so.

Michael Stephenson, prosecuting, said police seized three laptops, two hard drives and a memory stick from Kelly in 2017.

The devices were sent for analysis, which a “number of months later” revealed his sick stash.

It included 36 Category A – the most serious category showing child rape – 89 Category C and 235 Category images.

Mr Stephenson said three Category A and four Category B files were distributed by Kelly on Skype using the moniker “Chatterbox Pants” to someone with the username AKelly853 – who had not been traced – on January 14, 2017.

The court heard Kelly also talked with others in chat rooms about his liking for very young girls.

Mr Stephenson said after the analysis was complete, police wanted to interview Kelly but couldn’t locate him, as the phone number he had provided “wasn’t responding”.

A detective went to his last known address, when a new occupant said Kelly had moved, and an officer went to his father’s home, who provided him with contact details, but further attempts to contact him were also “unsuccessful”.

Mr Stephenson said Kelly later explained he had become estranged from his partner and moved to a new address in Woolfall Crescent, Huyton.

He said Kelly walked into Kirkby Police Station last June, but until then the case was in “limbo”.

Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, said: “Are you suggesting he’s deliberately hidden himself?”

Mr Stephenson said: “He’s certainly not made any effort to make himself known to the police.”

He added: “He must have known the Crown would say that the police wanted to speak to him again, but he’s not been forthcoming.”

Judge Flewitt said: “I’m not sure it’s his responsibility to go looking for them at that stage.”

Mr Stephenson replied: “No, I’m giving you his history.”

Judge Flewitt said an immediate prison term wasn’t necessary “primarily because of the limited extent of your distribution and because of the very substantial time that has passed since these offences were discovered”.

He added: “If they had been very much more recent or there had been distribution on a greater scale, you would have been going immediately to prison.”

The judge handed him 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, the Horizon sex offenders treatment programme, a 40-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 120 hours of unpaid work.

He ordered Kelly to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.