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Man jailed after police found more than 400,000 indecent pictures of children on his work computer

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 13/10/2020 Ashlie Blakey

A man has been jailed after police found more than 400,000 indecent pictures of children on his work computer.

Michael Donkin, 59, downloaded hundreds of thousands of vile, illegal images of children as young as one-year-old, including almost 25,000 classed as being of the most serious category.

When police searched his home in Wythenshawe on July 16 this year, he told them: "Yes, it's all on that computer there".

As well as having the 'extraordinary large amount' of images on his work computer and a hard drive, Donkin also had 80 videos and 12,000 images of young girls taken in public spaces.

He admitted having a sexual interest in young children and was today jailed for two years and four months at Manchester Crown Court.

Prosecutor Michelle Brown told the court how detectives executed a search warrant at Donkin's home as part of an investigation into indecent images of children.

"The defendant and his wife were present at the address", Ms Brown said.

"The defendant made a full admission and directed police to a computer at a work station.

"He said ‘yes its all on that computer there’.

"He was arrested and a number of devices were seized from the address and examined."

a sign in front of a building: Donkin was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court © MEN Media Donkin was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court

Police found 437,614 indecent images of children in total - 24,558 were category A images, described as the worst kind of child pornography, 117,291 category B and 295,765 category C.

More than 7,000 of these were videos, the court heard.

"The images depicted children from the ages of one to 15 years", Ms Brown added.

"The officers also found a large volume, around 80 video files and 12,000 still images of covert recorded material of young girls in public spaces.

"The defendant was interviewed and said he had been downloading the material for about five years or more.

"He said he felt depressed and curious. He admitted that he had a sexual interest in children.

"It was found on a computer at a work station in his spare bedroom."

Defence lawyer Ronan Maguire said his client - who has no previous convictions - had been working for the same company for 19 years.

His employer had not been made aware of his offending, Mr Maguire said.

"He realises the serious predicament in which he has placed himself", he added.

a large building: Donkin was jailed for two years and four months © Manchester Evening News Donkin was jailed for two years and four months

"Matters were admitted essentially at the point of arrest.

"His wife is supportive of him. She has a medical illness and can not work.

"He has been working from home due to Covid. He has worked for the last 19 years for the same company.

"The employer are unaware of the position though this will likely lead to a termination of the employment."

Donkin, of Porlock Road, Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to three offences of making an indecent photo and one offence of possession of a prohibited image of a child.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Cross QC told him his offending was so serious that he would have to go to prison immediately.

"The result of the examination of your computer revealed an extraordinary large amount of prohibited material", the judge said.

"Many of the children in the images were very young, some as young as one.

"You had been in possession of that material for as long as a period of nearly six and a half years.

"Police also found a cache of 80 video files with 12,000 still images which you possessed of the posterior and chest area of female children pictured in public places.

"This emphasises your unnatural interests in small children.

"This is a grave case and the offending behaviour is so serious that I would be failing in my public duty were I not to impose an immediate custodial sentence."

Donkin was jailed for two years and four months.

He was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

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