A MAN convicted of child porn offences had his sentencing adjourned after claiming to have information about paedophile rings and incidents of child abuse - including an alleged cover up at Westminster.
Michael McAuliffe, 50, of Norfolk Square, Haworth, was due to be sentenced at Bradford Crown Court today after admitting a string of offences, including 17 charges of making thousands of indecent photos and movies of children, and four offences of distributing indecent photos of children.
Grey-haired McAuliffe, who was a closely monitored sex offender after previously being convicted of possessing child porn, had planned to evade the law by hiding in London under a new name - but was foiled by an eagle-eyed Bradford police officer who recognised him while she was enjoying a break in the capital.
McAuliffe's barrister, James Bourne-Arton, told the judge it was his client's desire to provide what he regarded as relevant information to any investigation being carried out into "abuse that was covered up in the 1970s in the Westminster area."
Mr Bourne-Arton added: "He has also informed me this morning there are other incidents of child abuse and paedophile rings he is able and willing to provide information on."
Mr Bourne-Arton said McAuliffe's reason for wanting to provide information was his appreciation that where creditworthy assistance is given, it can be reflected in the sentence received.
He asked for the sentencing to be adjourned to allow the police to carry out processes, though he accepted there was a degree of scepticism as to what information he might provide.
Prosecutor Michael Smith told the judge: "My position is one of deep scepticism."
Mr Smith said McAuliffe was in denial about the nature of the offences when questioned by police, and was deeply hostile towards the police. The timing of his desire to assist the police was of deep concern to officers.
Mr Smith said police would be willing to speak to the defendant. But he said it was highly unlikely they would ever enter into a formal agreement with the defendant to obtain a more lenient sentence.
A Government inquiry is under way into allegations of an establishment "cover up" of child abuse allegations against figures in Parliament, the police and BBC in the 1980s.
Judge Benson said the defendant must be reading the papers and it may be suspected he was jumping on the bandwagon.
But he added: "If some good may come out of it, we should afford him the opportunity of telling the officers what he might be able to say."
Judge Benson adjourned sentencing until September 1 and remanded McAuliffe in custody.
As he did so, the defendant raised his arm and said: "Can I just say, the names I've got..." but the judge interrupted him and told him to discuss the matter with his lawyers.