A SEX offender who stashed hundreds of indecent images of young boys on his mobile phone and laptop has been jailed.
Michael Cowen was arrested back in 2018 after officers from Northumbria Police’s specialist Paedophile Online Investigation Team (Polit) received information he had been illegally downloading indecent images on his devices.
A mobile phone, laptop and three USB’s belonging to the 53-year-old were seized and after examination by the digital forensics team, a haul of more than 500 images were uncovered and 11 prohibited pornographic videos.
Of the 556 images discovered – 170 were identified as Category A – the most serious in the classification system.
Cowen was later charged and appeared before the courts where he pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent image of a child and one count of possessing a prohibited image of a child. He also admitted breaching a community order.
He appeared at Newcastle Crown on Tuesday where was jailed for 16 months.
Speaking after the sentencing Detective Constable Ian Beecroft, from Polit said: “Cowen is a repeat offender who admitted during his police interview that he was sexually attracted to children. He also knew his offending was wrong and tried to keep it a secret from the people he knew, until he was caught out.
“I am pleased the courts have recognised the risk he poses and that he’s behind bars where he is unable to continue offending.
“Thanks to a thorough investigation by our team and our digital media investigators, we were able to bring a solid case before the courts which left Cowen no choice but to admit his guilt and I’m pleased with the sentence passed down.
“I would always encourage anyone with information about this type of offending, or anyone who thinks they have been a victim to come forward and talk to us.”
Michael Cowen, of Leazes Court Newcastle, was sentenced to a total of 16 months imprisonment at Newcastle Crown Court. He was issued with a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.