Ellesmere Port man jailed for possession of indecent images of children

A man from Ellesmere Port has been jailed for five years after pleading guilty to possessing indecent images and videos of children

Mark Donaghey appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, 12 March, where he was sentenced to five years imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession of category A indecent images of children, possession of a category C indecent images of children, making a category A image of a child, making a category C image of a child and two counts of the possession of a prohibited images of children.

The case against Donaghey started on Thursday, 23 February 2023, when officers from Ellesmere Port conducted a warrant at his home, following information that revealed the internet IP address attributed to it was being used to access indecent content involving children.

During the search, officers seized several digital devices and the 59-year-old was arrested.

When interviewed, Donaghey answered “no comment” to all questions and was later bailed pending further investigation into the devices officers seized during the warrant.

It would later be revealed that Donaghey’s devices seized during the raid contained 944 category A images of children, 840 category B images, 4097 category C images, five extreme images, 142 prohibited images and six category A videos of children.

Whilst on bail, officers received further intelligence that Dongahey’s internet IP address was again being used to access indecent images. In response to this, officers conducted a second warrant at his home on Monday, 16 October 2023.

Donaghey was not present at the address at the time, but officers located and seized two laptops that would later be confirmed to contain a further 605 pieces of category A material, 459 category B, 916 category C and eight prohibited images.

The 59-year-old would be located the following day, on Tuesday, 17 October, after officers attended an address linked to him and promptly arrested him.

During a subsequent interview Donaghey admitted possession of indecent images which would be later found on his devices.

He was later charged with the offences, and upon appearing at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 30 January 2024, he was left with no choice but to plead guilty to his offending.

Following the sentencing, Tracy Earley, of the Sex Offender Management Unit, said, “I welcome the sentence handed to Mark Donaghey today, who was left with no choice but to plead guilty after over 8000 pieces of indecent material involving young children were discovered across numerous devices belonging to him.

“Even after his devices were seized, Donaghey purchased replacement devices and continued to access the illicit materials despite being placed under investigation.

“In addition to his custodial sentence he has been issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for the rest of his life.

“It is important to note that these crimes are not victimless and I hope the result today shows we remain steadfast in pursuing and bringing to justice those who engage in online child sexual exploitation and play a part in the sexual abuse of children in Cheshire and beyond.”

To report a sexual offence call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report

Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

Image: Mark Donaghey/Cheshire Police

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