CHILD porn pervert Craig Meehan will not be welcome back on his former estate, say neighbours.
Meehan, 22, of Moorside Road, Dewsbury, was yesterday sentenced to 20 weeks jail after been found guilty of viewing 49 indecent images of children.
But the former partner of Shannon Matthews’ mother left court as a free man, having served 166 days on remand.
Outside Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court, Julie Bushby, chairman of Moorside Road Residents’ Association, said residents were disgusted and disappointed with Meehan’s crimes.
She said: “If you do it, you deserve everything you get.
“If he comes back up to the Moor, I don’t think he’ll get very far. He won’t be able to go back.
“At the end of the day, what he’s done was wrong.
“How can I describe it? It’s sick, end of.
“What would your reaction be if he moved to where you lived?”
Indecent images, including seven grade four – five being the most serious – were found by police on Meehan’s computer which was seized by police investigating Shannon’s disappearance on February 19.
During the five-day trial the former fishmonger denied accessing the images – some featuring children as young as four.
But District Judge Jonathan Bennett agreed the evidence “overwhelmingly” pointed to the defendant.
Sentencing Meehan, Judge Bennett said: “The damage that has been caused to the children in these photographs is unimaginable. That is why Parliament regards these matters as so serious and why there is widespread social abhorrence of such offences. The most vulnerable in our society have to be protected.
“Those who are potentially at risk of harm from you are children.
“Such photographs can cause serious psychological harm to the children who are being photographed. The harm to them arises not just from what they are made to do, but also from their knowledge that what they are being forced to do would be viewed by others, who would get a perverted thrill from watching them forced to pose and behave in this way.”
Meehan was cleared of viewing an indecent image of a topless teenager on his mobile.
Judge Bennett said: “I cannot rule out the possibility that the defendant has not viewed this image and has simply deleted it from his phone.”
The judge said Meehan had become “almost a household figure” following Shannon’s disappearance and his life would never be the same.
He added: “Over the coming months you are going to face some difficult circumstances.”
Meehan was banned from owning images of children, except of relatives and godchildren or with parental permission. He was made to register his details with police for seven years.
Wearing a black Manchester United shirt, Meehan appeared nervous as the verdict was read out.
While relatives were unwilling to comment, Meehan’s sister Amanda Hyett, visibly upset, said: “It’s only my brother. He’s my blood. I didn’t choose him to do that.”
Senior investigating police officer, Det Supt Andy Brennan, said: “Although we cannot get drawn into anything which could impact on any future trials, anybody who downloads these type of images which clearly contain photos of young children will always be dealt with appropriately by police and the courts.”
Meehan left court yesterday in an unmarked Volvo police car followed by a police escort.
Karen Matthews faces trial in November, charged with Shannon’s kidnap, along with Michael Donovan, of Batley Carr.