Scarborough businessman avoids jail after downloading 11,000 child porn images

Terence Corcoran
Terence Corcoran

A Scarborough businessman has been spared jail after he admitted downloading more than 11,000 indecent images of children.

Terence Patrick Corcoran, 48, scoured the web for depraved shots of children as young as six.

Corcoran, a former director of a financial-services company in Scarborough, downloaded 11,236 images, York Crown Court heard.

The businessman was arrested after police raided his home in Scarborough and seized two laptops and an iPad for forensic analysis.

They found thousands of “live” images and others which had been deleted by the disgraced financial expert.

He admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and appeared for sentence on Friday.

Dressed in a smart suit, Corcoran, of Heron Lane, Crossgates, sat with his head bowed in the dock for much of the hearing.

Prosecutor Rob Galley said the vast majority of indecent images were rated Category C - the least serious - but police also found 235 Category A images, featuring the worst kind of child porn.

There were a further 140 images rated Category B. The offensive material was downloaded between May 2011 and December 2012.

Police swooped on Corcoran’s home in May 2014 after suspicious internet activity had been traced to his computers. Corcoran was hauled in for questioning and admitted downloading a “vast amount” of child pornography but claimed it wasn’t deliberate and that he hadn’t actively searched for vile material.

He told officers he had been on morphine at the time following a series of serious health scares.

Mr Galley said Corcoran may have stored other “inappropriate” images on an external drive which had never been recovered.

He said Corcoran had deliberately searched for child porn and installed “easy-hide” software to browse the web anonymously.

The businessman used extremely graphic searched terms and those for specific ages of young children.

The barrister said the age children featured in the photos and video clips ranged from six to 14.

Corcoran’s barrister Silis Reid said the businessman had serious, genetic heart problems at the time and underwent 11 operations, including open-heart surgery, between 2010 and 2014.

He said Corcoran was convinced he was going to die during this period but managed to run a “very-successful” financial-services business which he had been forced to abandon since his arrest.

He added that Corcoran, who has no previous convictions, was “everything one would want a member of society to be” before his offending and had done charity work.

He said Corcoran had been receiving counselling and taken steps “to ensure this (type of offending) doesn’t happen again in the home”.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said there were “plain indications” that Corcoran had deliberately sought out sexual images of children in "visible pain”.

He said the “large volume” of material found on his computers had been aggravated by the fact that Corcoran had used “wiping” software to delete some of the images.

The judge added, however, that “substantial mitigation” - including Corcoran’s serious health issues and his “fatalistic attitude” at the time of the offences - meant that he could step back from a term of immediate imprisonment.

Mr Stubbs told Corcoran: “I am satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, although it is plain that there is still some work to be done with you and your attitude.”

Corcoran was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for seven years.

Mr Stubbs also made a sexual-harm prevention order which includes internet strictures designed to prevent Corcoran reoffending or deleting images.