A 43-YEAR-OLD paedophile collected a “library of depravity”, but has escaped jail.
Paul Mahoney, of Lindley, downloaded thousands of sex images of young children plus thousands more of fully-clothed children.
But he has escaped a prison sentence – even though a judge said he deserved to be locked up.
Former supermarket worker Paul Mahoney, described by his own lawyer as an isolated and lonely nobody, has been sentenced to a supervision order with strict controls and must attend a sex offender programme.
Behind closed doors at his home in Cadogan Avenue, Lindley, he downloaded and stored all kinds of child porn and other images of youngsters.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that even innocent films and television programmes could arouse Mahoney sexually.
Judge Jonathan Rose said Mahoney had admitted that he first became aware of his sexual attraction towards children after seeing one of the young actresses in the film Mrs Doubtfire and, when he watched the hit programme Supernanny, he fantasised about how he would deal with naughty children.
When police monitoring the internet tracked down Mahoney, they discovered more than 10,000 indecent images and films of children on his computer equipment.
But Judge Rose noted that the defendant had also stored more than 30,000 other non-nude pictures of youngsters.
“'That of course is one of the most troubling features of this case that you derive sexual pleasure from the sight of a child whether clothed or naked, whether innocently or sexually posed.
“That is why you are in my view a dangerous person.”
When Mahoney had to sit in the dock because of his distressed state, Judge Rose said he doubted that he had ever shed a tear for the children who had suffered for his pleasure.
In addition to the images found on his computer investigators also discovered more pornography on external hard drives, CDs and DVDs.
Judge Rose said the storage devices were filled with filth and described it as “a library of depravity”.
The court heard that Mahoney had also accepted having fantasies about children he had seen in his local area, although there was no evidence he had ever touched or attempted to approach any youngsters.
“'Among cases of this kind yours stands out as being a particularly troubling and disgusting example,” the judge told a distraught Mahoney.
The judge noted that Mahoney’s first sex act had involved a prostitute who he had chosen because she looked like a child in her appearance and the way she dressed.
“It is patently obvious Paul Mahoney that you have been a paedophile for a very long period of time,” said Judge Rose.
Mahoney admitted a series of offences relating to the downloading of indecent images of children, but Judge Rose said the guidelines in such cases meant he would have imposed a jail term of between nine and 12 months.
“You deserve to go to prison. The public would expect me to send you to prison, but I’m not going to do so,” said Judge Rose.
The judge said Mahoney would only serve half of the prison term and then be released without the high level of support and intervention that his case cried out for.
“'It seems to me that whilst the public might be disappointed that you don’t receive a long prison sentence I have a wider duty and that duty is to attempt to protect children from you.”
The judge said Mahoney would be under supervision for the next three years with a condition that he attends a sex offender programme.
He will also be subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order which limits his access to the internet, and he must also register with the police as a sex offender for five years.
The judge warned Mahoney that if he committed a further offence connected with sexual offences against children he would regard the sentencing guidelines as no longer applying in his case and he faced an indeterminate prison sentence to protect the public.
“In other words you would be locked up for good,” added the judge.
Lawyer Neil Murphy, for Mahoney, said he was a man who previously lived in the shadows and he described his offending as a corrosive spiral that got worse and worse.
“His sister has disowned him, he’s lost his employment and he is a very isolated and pathetic individual,” added Mr Murphy.