‘Dangerous’ Exmouth paedophile is back behind bars

Exmouth child sex abuser Joseph McColgan - Ireland’s most ‘evil’ paedophile - is back behind bars after being found in possession of child pornography. He was jailed for 30 months at Exeter Crown Court by Judge Graham Cottle.

A ‘dangerous’ and evil paedophile living in Exmouth - who was jailed in Ireland in 1995 for a total of 238 years after he was found guilty of physically and sexually abusing his own children over a 17 year period - is today back behind bars being found with child pornography.

Joseph McColgan, 68, of Dray Court, Exmouth, was on Tuesday jailed for 30 months after admitting 17 counts of possessing child pornography.

McColgan, who was placed on the Irish sex offenders’ register, also pleaded guilty to failing to notify police he had left the country.

Judge Graham Cottle, sitting at Exeter Crown Court, told McColgan – who battered, sexually abused and raped his own children between 1978 and the early 90s - he deserved to be locked away far longer than law permitted.

He said the public would expect someone with McColgan’s history to remain behind bars indefinitely.

Judge Cottle said the defendant remained a danger to children and hoped the authorities would supervise him at the ‘highest level’ on his release.

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When passing sentence, Judge Cottle told McColgan: “If that’s not put into place then children will continue to be at serious risk from you.

“You are quite clearly a dangerous man but the current state of the legislation does not really allow me to give weight to the fact you are a danger to children.

“The public would expect someone like you to be locked up for a considerably longer time and not released until the parole board decides you are safe.”

The court heard how father-of-six McColgan had been found in possession of child pornography during a trip to Sligo, Ireland, in March 2010.

A computer memory card and memory stick with saved images of child porn were discovered by officers in McColgan’s rucksack when he was asked to provide proof he had not left the country without permission.

Officers said the images ranged between category one and four in severity. (Category five is deemed most serious).

McColgan, originally from Sligo - who systematically sexually and physically abused his daughter Sophia from the age six until she was a young woman - told officers he had found the memory card with images of children on Budleigh Salterton beach 18 months earlier.

He admitted the equipment was his after being shown forensic data.

The court heard how he used a mobile phone to copy the sick images and videos from his computer onto his mobile phone for viewing while he was on the move.

Showing no remorse in the dock, McColgan, dressed in a tan leather jacket, pleaded guilty to all the charges put before him.

McColgan - who in 2004 was placed on the Irish sex offenders’ register after serving nine years of a 12 year jail sentence in 1995 – is thought to have been living at different addresses in Exmouth since 2007.