In 2018, Thomas Mulligan, now 62, was in possession of a significant quantity of indecent imagery. While out on bail for this crime, in 2019 Mulligan committed a series of further offences where he communicated with children online. He used various aliases pretended to be a 13 or 14 year old to trick his victims into sending photos and engaging in sexual communications. When police officers attended his home, they found a number of images on his laptop including extreme pornographic images.
Mulligan pleaded guilty to 21 counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child, two counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act, two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, three counts of making an indecent image of a child, three counts of making an indecent image and one count of possession of extreme images. On 21 July Mulligan was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years at Inner London Crown Court. He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and rehabilitation activity. At a slip rule hearing on 31 August this was increased to 2 years’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
Following a referral to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme by the Solicitor General, on 7 October the Court found the sentence to be unduly lenient and increased it to 6 years’ imprisonment.
After the hearing at the Court of Appeal, the Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC MP, said:
“The crimes of Mulligan were exhaustive in their nature and by the number of victims who will have been impacted by his egregious actions. He manipulated and abused young vulnerable children. It is right for the sentence to reflect the crime and I am pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision today to increase his sentence.”