One of Ulster's worst cyber perverts paid a mother in Thailand just £155 to let him take indecent photographs of her children - as a birthday present to himself, the Telegraph can reveal today.
Downpatrick man Ian Magill, who has convictions for two previous sex offences, was due to be sentenced today after being caught in possession of over 15,000 images of horrific child abuse.
Investigating officers have described the images Magill was in possession of as the most horrific they have ever seen.
The 59-year-old former museum worker, from Ballyhornan Road in Downpatrick, travelled to Thailand in 2002 where he handed over 10,000 baht - £155 - to a woman to let him take sick images of her four young children.
He then posted these images on an internet site for other paedophiles to view.
When officers swooped on his home last year they discovered 15,229 indecent images of children. Hundreds of them were category 5, the worst level.
"For my team of investigators and the guys who forensically examined Mr Magill's computer, they are without doubt, the most horrific images anyone involved in this field ever had the displeasure to look at, " said Detective Sergeant Peter Montgomery.
"They will certainly have a lasting legacy on anyone who had to view those images and movies. He is without doubt the worst case we have ever had to come across."
Magill had attempted to use technology to wipe all traces of the images from his computer, however forensic experts were able to recover them.
Mr Montgomery said: "We can't stress enough that people have to realise if they are committing these offences this organisation is determined to find them, trace them, arrest them and put them before the courts. No matter what they do to cover their tracks we will use every tool to try and uncover their actions.
"This case clearly demonstrates someone who tried to cover their tracks but we were able to uncover one of the most horrendous cases we have ever had to deal with."
Magill's sordid double life can be tracked back as far as 1991 when he was convicted of taking indecent images of a child. In 1995 he was arrested for smuggling child porn from Europe.