POLICE have spoken out following the jailing of an Ellesmere Port paedophile found with thousands of indecent images of children.

Previously, we reported that 59-year-old Mark Donaghey continued to obtain indecent images, including those of the very worst category, even when he was on police bail as officers analysed other indecent images found on his devices.

Donaghey had previously been jailed for 18 months in 2002 for attempted gross indecency with a child. In 2005, he was handed an extended sentence of five years plus five years for engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child aged 13 or under, as well as outraging public decency.

The defendant, of Elaine Close, Great Sutton, had entered guilty pleas to all charges and was handed an extended sentence at Chester Crown Court (sitting at Chester Magistrates Court) on Tuesday, March 12, where he must serve at least two-thirds of a three-year custodial sentence, plus two years extended licence.

A life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order was also imposed.

Speaking after the sentencing, Cheshire Police have welcomed the sentence handed out.

Tracy Earley, of the Sex Offender Management Unit, said: “I welcome the sentence handed to Mark Donaghey, who was left with no choice but to plead guilty after over 8,000 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."

The case against Donaghey started on Thursday, February 23, 2023, when officers from Ellesmere Port conducted a warrant at his home on Elaine Close, 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 Donaghey was arrested. When interviewed, he 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. Category A is described as the most serious category of indecent image.

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, October 16, 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, October 17, 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, January 30, he was left with no choice but to plead guilty to his offending.

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.