He was previously convicted of trying to rape a nine-year-old girl
A pedophile hid hard drives containing sickening child rape images in his washing machine during a police raid.
Christopher Dolan later told police he thought the appliance was a cupboard, in efforts to cover his tracks.
Liverpool Crown Court today heard the 58-year-old was previously convicted of trying to rape a nine-year-old girl.
Among the 1,887 images discovered were 97 of children being raped, including one video which lasted over 50 minutes.
Dolan, of Conway Street, Everton, appeared at court today where it was heard he had collected the “plethora of material” of “the darkest kind” over eight years.
Dolan was charged with three counts of making indecent images and one count of possessing the images.
Tom Watson, prosecuting, explained Dolan had denied the charges until September 4, when he admitted all of the offences.
Police raided Dolan’s address on November 12, 2018, after intelligence suggested the internet was being used to download indecent images of children, Mr Watson told the court.
When police entered they discovered a “makeshift PC” from which the hard drive had been removed – but which was warm to the touch.
Upon searching the property hard drives and a motherboard were found “in various locations, including in the drum of the washing machine in the kitchen” in a “frantic attempt to hide or remove evidence”.
Officer also seized a Toshiba laptop containing 1,126 images which had been deleted using specialist software.
The court also heard two internet browsers had been downloaded which could be used to access the dark web.
Dolan was interviewed on August 20, 2019, in which he told officers “the police intelligence must be a mistake”.
He also claimed that he had a medical condition and during episodes “doesn’t know what he is doing” and said he thought the washing machine was a cupboard.
Detailing Dolan’s previous convictions, Mr Watson explained that on July 25, 2005, he was sentenced to six years after attempting to rape a nine-year-old and for an indecent assault on a female under 14.
He was also given an extended licence of three years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life, as well as being disqualified from working with children.
Mr Watson also told the court that Dolan was handed a 10-month prison sentence in 2002 following an assault.
Referring to the current offences, Nicholas Holt, defending, said: “He offered some considerable remorse in respect of this matter.
“It is substantial to see the change from the account in interview to full acceptance of offences.”
Mr Holt told the court Dolan accepted full responsibility for obtaining the images and stated that since proceedings began he has not committed further offences.
Explaining that Dolan has demonstrated he can work with the probation service he asked the judge to suspend any custodial sentence imposed, urging that such a sentence “isn’t going to be a wasted opportunity in my respectful submission”.
Mr Holt also asked the judge to consider the current impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on prisoners when sentencing.
Recorder Ian Unsworth, QC, said: “What police found on that occasion was a plethora of material.
“It showed over a period of years you had repeatedly accessed material of the darkest kind.”
The judge noted that Dolan had tried to “thwart any police investigation” in his attempts to conceal the material, both physically and through specialist software he had downloaded to try and hide his crimes.
He also noted that Dolan had used a specialist browser to access the dark web and then tried to distance himself from his crimes, adding, “to your credit to the probation officer you have been more forthcoming”.
Recorder Unsworth said: “Clearly there are a number of significant factors which make this serious.”
The judge explained he had given regard to the age of the girls depicted.
Recorder Unsworth acknowledged mitigation including Dolan’s guilty plea and that during his probation interview he accepted his culpability “to a large but not a full extent” his “criminal motivation”.
The judge also accepted that his attendance during his previous licence period was almost 100%, but cited that it has to be balanced by the offences committed while he had access to help.
After hearing from the probation service that Dolan poses a medium risk of serious harm to girls aged between eight and 16, the judge ruled that only a sentence of immediate imprisonment was appropriate.
Dolan was jailed for two years and the judge imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life, although it was noted that this is a formality as his previous offence requires him to sign the register for life anyway.