April 2021

Paedophile snared by undercover police officers jailed for two years

Michael McLernon admitted to child sexual abuse and possessing banned animal pornography after he was caught.

Hearings involving McLernon had been delayed several times due to his being ill.

But on his latest appearance before a Bolton Crown Court judge, the 36-year-old of Flapper Fold Lane, Atherton, was well enough to enter guilty pleas to a total of seven offences, all of which were committed in the autumn of last year.

But the “13-year-olds” – Daisy, Jodie and Molly – with whom McLernon had been communicating online were in fact not girls at all, but police officers specially trained in tracking down paedophiles on the internet.

In his admissions, McLernon acknowledged that he as an adult knew that the females he thought he was contacting were below the age of consent.

One charge to which he pleaded guilty was possession of 148 extreme pornographic moving images “which were grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character and portrayed in an explicit and realistic way.”

As well as a 24-month prison sentence, McLernon was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and will be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same amount of time, terms of which include the limiting of his use of internet-enabled technology.