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Sicko Computer creep who avoided jail after being caught with 130,000 child images exposed

Michael Davidson was caught with so many sick photographs and videos, cops didn't have the resources to examine them all

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Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson

This is the creepy computer 'genius' caught with 130,000 indecent images of kids who hoped his bosses wouldn't find out.

Michael Davidson narrowly escaped going to prison this week despite being caught with so many sick photographs and videos of kids being abused, cops didn't have the resources to examine them all.

Of the sample they did examine, they discovered that more than 1,500 were of Category A - the most serious - which depict penetrative sexual acts involving children and can include aspects of bondage and sadomasochism.

We can reveal the 28-year-old from Lisburn holds, not one, but two Masters degrees in Mechatronic Engineering and has a high-paid job in the tech industry.

Indeed, the sneaky pervert hoped his whizzkid computer skills would enable him to cover his tracks when he installed software he thought would prevent police from ever finding his illegal material.

It didn't work and instead they found one of the largest stashes of child pornography ever discovered in this country.

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Michael Davison was charged with possessing 130,000 images of child porn

Michael Davison was charged with possessing 130,000 images of child porn

Michael Davison was charged with possessing 130,000 images of child porn

Davidson's workplace was mentioned at Craigavon Crown Court and it's named in the Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bars him from having any type of computer or mobile phone device.

We have chosen not to name his firm which has an excellent reputation as an employer and as a leader in its field of providing data analysis used by leading cycling teams.

In fact it was stated in court how Davidson's company knew nothing about his serious Crown Court prosecution for indecent images.

And we can reveal Davidson was initially arrested in 2018 on these charges, immediately made admissions to police but only started at his new job the same year - keeping his bosses out of the loop for almost four full years.

In fact the case has been running for so long it emerged Davidson has been paying for his own therapy to rid him of his "addiction" to child images.

And when we confronted the wireless engineer on Friday morning, he told us he still "wasn't planning" on telling his bosses.

Davidson answered the door of his rural home on the outskirts of Lisburn where he lives with his parents and where we understand he works for the cutting-edge tech company.

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Looking shocked, he said: "I don't want to talk about the court case," when asked if he wanted to explain how he had amassed such a huge library of indecent images.

When asked if he had told his bosses, he said "No", and when pushed as it whether he was going to, he replied, "I wasn't planning on telling them, no."

His court-ordered Sexual Offences Prevention Order bars him from having a computer, among other devices, except for at his place of work which is identified by name in the order.

Describing how 28-year-old Michael John Davidson had "stored an extremely large number of images," Judge Patrick Lynch QC said while his offences clearly cross the custody threshold because of what he had heard and read about the defendant, coupled with PPS delays in bringing the case to court, "I'm prepared to take a course that didn't commend itself at first blush."

Ordering the porn-addicted creep to complete a three-year probation order, the Craigavon Crown Court judge told him that by searching out and saving the sickening images and videos, "you are complicit, in your own way, in the sexual abuse of children".

"If it wasn't for the demand of such images, they would not be made and abuse is inherent in material," he told Davidson.

At an earlier hearing, Davidson confessed his guilt in relation to 15 charges of making and possessing indecent images of children and three of having extreme pornography on dates between April 20 and May 30 2018.

This week, prosecuting lawyer Joseph Murphy outlined how cops searched his home and when they explained what the warrant related to, Davidson admitted there and then "yes I'm responsible - my parents know nothing about it".

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Our reporter Steven Moore speaks to Davidson

Our reporter Steven Moore speaks to Davidson

Our reporter Steven Moore speaks to Davidson

Initially questioned that same day, Davidson "made full and frank admissions" that he began searching for adult porn when he was a teenager but then started "looking at images of people his own age but they then got younger and younger".

Claiming that "it was an addiction," Davidson admitted that he used his computer degree to use a clandestine web browser which was supposed to hide his tracks and also that he had separated and stored many images.

Blatantly admitting that he had been looking at images just the night before the cops arrived at his door, Davidson said that at one stage "he downloaded so many he couldn't look at them all".

When the various devices were later examined, Mr Murphy said cops has categorised 1,503 images of which 33 were at level A, 27 were at level B and the rest at C.

Mr Murphy added, however, that there were also "128,000 files that were not examined... and those contained a large number of uncategorised files that also appeared to be illegal".

Davidson's defence counsel said that since the offences had come to light, the pervert had "kept himself away from younger members of his family" and has been undergoing therapy and counselling for his depravities and porn addiction "at his own cost".

Revealing that his "employees know nothing" about the court case, the lawyer argued that with a clear record, genuine remorse and with Davidson taking steps to address the root cause of the offending that a jail sentence was not necessary, urging the judge to allow him to continue with his rehabilitative work.

Describing that "of its type it's quite a bad one," Judge Lynch commented that "unfortunately from your point of view," his clandestine web browsers failed to thwart the authorities.

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Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson

In addition to the probation order, Davidson was told he will have to sign the police sex offenders register for seven years and will also have to comply with a seven-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

As part of its multiple conditions, the SOPO bars Davidson from living anywhere without approval, from using any mobile phone or computer without approval, from entering any romantic relationship without verifiable disclosure of his convictions and from "loitering within 50 metres of any child-centred locations".

According to his company biography, Davidson is the firm's "all-purpose engineer" who with "two Masters degrees in Mechatronic Engineering... has brought knowledge of multiple engineering fields to (name removed) since joining in 2018.

"From PCB designs to back-end support, he carries out all the work behind the scenes on our next product releases."

Mechatronic engineering harnesses the power of mechanics, electrical systems and software to create computer-controlled 'smart' machines.

It underpins the technology behind robotics and autonomous systems, automated manufacturing and 'intelligent' microprocessor-based technologies.

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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