Paedophile back in prison after holiday

Paedophile back in prison after holiday

2 November 2011

A NOTORIOUS Downpatrick paedophile has been jailed for almost three years for hoodwinking police to travel to Bangkok.

Sixty three year-old Ian Magill, who already has a series of convictions for child pornography offences, was stopped by police in Heathrow airport last year as he returned from Thailand.

A laptop was seized and is currently being examined but Magill has already told police they will "find images of concern" on the computer.

Ian Magill, of Ballyhornan Road, appeared at Downpatrick Crown Court on Friday where he was sentenced in relation to several breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which occurred with the booking of his Thailand trip.

He admitted to accessing the internet to make his travel arrangements in breach of the order and failing to notify police of his intention to travel outside the UK.

He also admitted "technical" breaches of the order by owning computer storage devices and being in possession of certain software, which related to his profession as a designer.

The offences occurred between November last year and January 2011.

Magill had informed police of his intention to travel to Dublin, then went to an internet cafe to secretly book the flights to Thailand via London. He was flagged up as being a sex offender on passing through the airport and police were waiting for him on his return.

The court heard police in England are still investigating the contents of the laptop and that further charges were likely to be brought against the defendant.

Defence counsel Chris Holmes said Magill had been "absolutely and totally candid" when stopped by police, informing them that they would find images of concern on his laptop.

"He knows he has significant difficulties that are going to get him into serious trouble if he cannot control them," he said.

"Mr. Magill himself does not believe he will ever be freed."

Judge David Smyth QC described the offences as "appalling".

"This was a devious, premeditated and calculated seeking to get round exactly what a Sexual Offences Prevention Order is supposed to do," he said. "It really is quite appalling."

Noting that the maximum sentence he could impose was five years, and applying a discount for a guilty plea, Judge Smyth sentenced him to two years and eight months in jail - an effective one year and four month sentence.

Back in November 2007 Magill was jailed for two years and given two years on probation after he was caught in possession of more than 15,000 images of child abuse, described by police at the time as the "most horrific" they had ever seen.

At the time it emerged that in a trip to Thailand Magill paid £155 to a mother to take child abuse images of her four children.

Also back in 1991 Magill was convicted of taking indecent images of a child and in 1995 he was arrested for smuggling child pornography from England.