A YOUNG man who uploaded ‘appalling’ child abuse images to the dark web for his own sexual gratification has said he was ‘petrified’ that people would find out about his sick crimes.
McDonald’s manager Jamie McDougall was just 18 when police raided his home.
Officers acted after receiving information devices that had been used to access indecent images of children.
They seized a cellphone and two computers belonging to McDougall, now 20, finding more than 200 images of children.
A total of 107 images at the most severe category A were found, alongside 69 at category B and 76 at category C.
Police also found 14 extreme pornographic images, some depicting bestiality.
At Chelmsford Crown Court, sentencing judge Mary Loram QC said: ‘As always, the descriptions of the Category A images should appall anyone who reads them.
“But they don’t seem to have dismayed you.”
She said McDougall downloaded and stored the footage “for his own sexual gratification.”
“You are creating a market for child abuse,” she said.
McDougall, of Smythe Close, Clacton, admitted three counts of possession of indecent images of children and one count of possession of extreme pornographic images.
Mitigating Charlotte Hughes said her client made a full confession in an interview and admitted the charges at the earliest opportunity.
“After a search for other types of regular porn, he found these images and downloaded them,” she said.
“He put them on a thumb drive so he wouldn’t have to access those websites later.
“It is his assertion that he did not deliberately seek out the footage.”
Ms Hughes said the offenses were “born out of naivety and a lack of maturity”.
She added: “He told me this morning of the immense shame and guilt he feels over these offences.”
Ms Hughes said McDougall had “cut himself” from his friends and was “petrified” at the thought of people finding out about his crimes.
The offender was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with conditions to perform 200 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitative activity requirement.
He will be subject to a five-year sexual abuse prevention order and will have to sign the sex offender register for ten years.