A man from Rochdale has become the first person in Greater Manchester to be sentenced for possessing a ‘paedophile manual’.
Daniel O’Neill, 19, pleaded guilty to owning the document which contained advice and guidance on sexually abusing children.
He was sentenced to four years and two months on 2 December 2016 at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
The charge, Section 69 of the Serious Crime Act, 2015, officially came into force in May last year. It supersedes a previous law which made it illegal to publish the manual but not possess one.
O’Neill was also jailed for engaging in sexual activity with a child and possessing indecent images. He is officially the first to be successfully prosecuted for the offence.
In March 2016, police became aware of concerns that O’Neill was meeting with an underage girl. Following enquiries, it was revealed he had been engaging in sexual activity with a teenage girl.
Officers also searched O’Neill’s address and found indecent images of children on a device as well as a ‘paedophile manual’. He was then arrested and charged.
GMP says that this conviction is a ‘big step forward’ for the police force as well as the victims. This is as such prosecution recognises how serious it is to have one of these ‘manuals’.
Even if a sexual offence has not been committed, it alerts police of possible abuse, allowing them to intervene early. Therefore, the section 69 law helps to protect children from abuse.
Police say that anyone who owns a guide on grooming or sexual abuse is a clear ‘risk’ to the community.
News of the abuse has upset members of the local Rochdale community.
Anyone in immediate danger or in need of urgent help should dial 999. Anyone concerned about a child can visit, www.itsnotokay.co.uk, for advice and information.