A Southampton man was sentenced to 14 months in prison for having over 47,000 indecent images of children.
William McDowall, 57, of Shirley Road, Southampton, appeared in court on Friday, 17 June, after previously pleading guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of a child, possessing a prohibited image of a child, and possessing extreme pornographic images depicting sexual acts on an animal.
He received a 14-month prison sentence and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years. He was also sentenced to ten years in prison for violating the Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Officers arrested McDowall at his home address on July 30, 2021, and seized several items, including two laptop computers and a hard drive.
From March 2012 to July 2021, forensic examinations revealed that he had 47,517 indecent images stored across these three devices.
There were 9,294 images in Category A, the most serious, depicting babies, toddlers, and teenagers being abused. There were also a few images depicting acts of bestiality.
McDowall admitted to police that he had been viewing indecent images online for 20 years and described himself as a ‘lurker’.
PC The investigation was led by Sarah Tickner of the Internet Child Abuse Team. “McDowall had an extremely large collection of indecent images, and some of the children depicted were as young as 12 months old,” she said.
“While he expressed regret for his actions, he clearly poses a risk to children, and I am relieved to see that he is now behind bars.” When he is released from prison, he will be subjected to extremely stringent conditions.
“We hope that this investigation demonstrates our commitment to keeping children safe in our community and that we will do everything in our power to ensure offenders are prosecuted.”