McColgan: 17 Counts of child pornography

PUBLISHED: 17:58 02 September 2011

Joseph McColgan in 2010

Joseph McColgan in 2010


‘Dangerous’ Exmouth paedophile Joseph McColgan was jailed for 30 months in 2010 after admitting possessing child pornography.

McColgan was dubbed the Beast of Sligo in 1995 after he was jailed for a total of 238 years after being found guilty of physically and sexually abusing his own children in his native Ireland.

Last year, Judge Graham Cottle, sitting at Exeter Crown Court, jailed McColgan, who lived at Dray Court, Exmouth.

McColgan had admitted 17 counts of possessing child pornography and had also pleaded guilty to failing to notify police he had left his native country after being placed on the Irish sex offenders’ register.

When passing sentence, Judge Graham Cottle told McColghan – who battered, sexually abused and raped his own children between 1978 and the early 1990s - he deserved to be locked away far longer than law permitted.

He said the public would expect someone with McColghan’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.

He told McColgan: “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.”

Father-of-six McColghan 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 pornography were discovered in his rucksack by officers when McColgan 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.

McColghan told officers he had found the memory card on Budleigh Salterton beach 18 months earlier.

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

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

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