Paedophile blamed vile stash of abuse images on 'marital problems'

A paedophile downloaded pictures and videos of children being raped after struggling with "marital problems".

Richard Parkinson, 51, downloaded 555 indecent images of children between March 30 2021 and February 19 2023. These comprised of 523 category C images, 19 of category B, and 12 of the highest category A.

He also downloaded four items of extreme pornography involving bestiality between dogs and adult women.

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His vile collection was discovered when police received information about a digital IP address which was being used to access indecent images of children online. The IP address was linked to a device owned by Parkinson and a search warrant was issued on his Wallasey home.

His Samsung tablet was seized and on it officers found the images inside a hidden folder, which had been concealed using a privacy protection and data encryption app.

Parkinson, of Warwick Drive, Wallasey, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of children, possession of indecent photographs of children, and possession of extreme pornography. He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today, June 5.

Prosecutor Nardeen Nemat said: "In an interview he said there had been marital problems in his relationship which he had been trying to solve in various ways, one of which was looking at pornography online. He then went onto indecent images of children and would download things sometimes without knowing what had been downloaded.

"He said, at that point, he was not sexually attracted to children."

Shirlie Duckworth, defending, said Parkinson, who has no previous convictions, had already taken steps to address his behaviour by completing the Safer Lives programme for adults under investigation for child sex offences.

She said: "I do accept there are a substantial number of images, however I submit to the court there is not such a great number of images as is often seen before this court, often running into the thousands. I also invite the court to consider that this is not the case where a digital examination found repeated use of search terms which would have demonstrated that this defendant was deliberately seeking out these images.

"More important are the steps taken by him to address his behaviour, and of course his guilty plea."

Judge Michelle Brown said: "These are not victimless offences. Each and every child you have viewed being sexually abused is real. Their fear and their distress must have been substantial."

Sentencing Parkinson to 16 months in prison, suspended for 25 months, she added: "These are appalling offences. Sending you to prison would be justified and would met the pubic interest in the short term, but I have to consider the long term.

"You would not get the assistant you require to help the public in the long term (in prison)."

Parkinson was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and 45 rehabilitation days, and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.