May 2021

Paedophile described images of child sex abuse as ‘delightful’ and used lip-licking emoji

A paedophile who shared sickening images of child sexual abuse with like-minded people online described one of the file of films he was sent as “delightful”.

Shaun O’Donovan was caught with almost 750 indecent pictures and movies when police seized his phones and laptop and admitted that he fantasised about having oral sex from very young girls

Some of them showed infants as young as 18 months being sexually abused by men.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the 37-year-old started by looking at “innocent” images on the photo-sharing website Tumblr before moving on to pictures of naked women, and then on to increasingly younger females.

James Evans, prosecuting, said police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s family home in July last year following intelligence about images being uploaded to various online platforms from the address.

Officers seized and searched two iPhones and an Acer laptop from O’Donovan, and on them found a total of 744 images of Categories A – the most serious kind – B and C.

They also found 29 prohibited or pseudo images of children, along with a number of images of extreme adult pornography featuring animals.

The court heard the ages of the females in the indecent images ranged from a baby of around 18 months up to girls aged 11 or 12.

Officers also found evidence O’Donovan had been involved in sharing images online, and they uncovered one message he had sent to a fellow paedophile which read “The file you sent me was delightful” and which was accompanied by an emoji of lips being licked.

The prosecutor said in his police interview the defendant accepted he gained sexual gratification from looking at the images he had downloaded, and accepted he fantasised about having oral sex from young girls.

O’Donovan, of Nant y Dowlais, Ely, Cardiff, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making (possessing) indecent images, two counts of distributing indecent images, possessing prohibited images, and possessing extreme pornography when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Following the sentencing guidelines and giving the defendant the required one-third discount for his guilty pleas judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke sentenced him to two years and four months in prison.

O’Donovan will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence under the UK government’s early release scheme to serve the remainder in the community.

The defendant will be a registered sex offender for the next 10 years, and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time to control his access to the internet.