November 2019

Man boasted about sexually abusing a child online and distributed indecent images

A Locking man possessed thousands of indecent images of children and boasted online about sexually abusing a child, a court has heard.

John McGuiness, of Anson Road, faces jail after admitting 11 sexual offences at North Somerset Courthouse on November 5.

The 57-year-old was caught by police in 2017 after viewing and sharing indecent images on the dark web.

He had searched for terms including ‘cute boys and girls’, ‘boylover.org’ and ‘paedo support community’, and attempted to cover his tracks by using software to rid his computer of his browsing history.

McGuiness also used a method called ‘onion routing’, which is used by criminals to hide their internet activity – but he was found out after a chatroom website reported him for sharing indecent images of children.

May Li, prosecuting, said the seriousness of the offences meant a judge would need to sentence him.

She said: “Police received information on August 15, 2017 an IP address had been offering to distribute indecent images of children.

“Officers attended the address and they conducted a search for evidence. Mr McGuiness was the sole occupant. Officers seized a Samsung mobile phone, a HP laptop and a memory stick. Images were found on the devices.”

A total of 990 category A images – the most serious rating – and 777 category A movies were found.

More than 2,000 category B and C images collectively were also discovered, and there were around 400 movies in those criteria.

The court was told McGuiness engaged in Skype chats with two women claiming to be abusing young children in their care.

In the conversations, which the court heard he continued while at work, the 57-year-old boasted about once sexually abusing a child and joked about carrying out further acts.

McGuiness pleaded guilty to three charges of making an indecent photograph of a child and six counts of distributing indecent images.

He also admitted possessing three prohibited images of a child and eight extreme pornographic images which depicted people performing sex acts with dogs and horses.

Chair of the bench Steve Mercer granted McGuiness unconditional bail and ordered him to appear at Bristol Crown Court on December 11 for sentencing.