Updated: Sunday, 17th November 2019 @ 5:12pm

Stalybridge footy coach jailed for just a YEAR despite his 6,500 indecent images of children as young as SIX

Stalybridge footy coach jailed for just a YEAR despite his 6,500 indecent images of children as young as SIX

| By Stefan Mackley

A Stalybridge young person's football coach who downloaded thousands of indecent images of children and was caught as part of a world-wide investigation has been sentenced to 12 months in jail.

Daniel Dawson, 36, of Warrington Road, Stalybridge, who was also a college welfare officer, was found to have more than 6,500 indecent images of children aged between six and fourteen-years-old on his computer.

And at Minshull Street Crown Court today, Dawson pleaded guilty to 19 offences of possessing and making indecent images of children and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender's Register for the ten years and was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, also for ten years.

Detective Constable Oliver Gilmartin said: “I know there will be parents who have children that have come into contact with Dawson and understandably they will be anxious and concerned.

“I want to stress that we have no evidence to suggest that any physical abuse or contact offending has taken place.

"Nevertheless, the seriousness of downloading and possessing indecent images of children cannot be understated. By no means is the viewing of this material a victimless crime.

“It is people like Dawson who download and view child pornography that creates the market for those who abuse children and seek to profit by selling these horrendous images.”

Dawson was working as a welfare officer at Glossop Dale Community College in Derbyshire and coached at Middleton Lads and Girls FC when police raided his home on April 4 as part of an investigation.

Operation Spade, an international investigation led by Canadian Police, looked into the activities of an online retailer based in Canada who were trading as a film distribution company. 

Through this investigation, it was found that many of the films contained child pornography and indecent images of children.

After warrants were executed at the Canadian premises, customers from across the globe were identified and Greater Manchester Police received a package of information from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit (CEOP) about Dawson.

After Dawson’s house was raided, officers seized a number of computers and media storage device which were then examined by GMP’s High-Tech Crime Unit. 

A total of 1.5million images were recovered, of which 15,000 were analysed by a computer specialist with more than 6,500 found to be inappropriate.

Due to the sheer volume of indecent images however, the specialist could not examine all of the pictures and officers also found evidence that Dawson had repeatedly searched the internet for indecent images of children. 

There is no evidence to suggest Dawson has committed any contact offences or committed any offences against the children he came into contact with in a professional capacity.

Detective Constable Gilmartin added: “What this case shows is that this is a international problem with people living in Manchester accessing child pornography from across the world.

“However, what this case also shows is that enforcement agencies across the globe such as ourselves and CEOP are working tirelessly, and in partnership, to root out anyone who views child pornography and protect vulnerable children who are at risk of abuse.”

Greater Manchester Police has set up a help line and anyone who has information or concerns regarding this case can contact 0161 856 1738.