Jail warning to serial offender over child sex abuse images
A 62-YEAR-OLD man has been told that if he accesses images on the internet of children being sexually abused again he will be sent to prison.
John Flynn, from University Street in Belfast, who appeared before Belfast Crown Court with 78 previous convictions, admitted two counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo) and 14 counts of possessing an indecent image of a child.
He was handed a two-year prison sentence that was suspended for three years by Judge Geoffrey Miller.
Urging Flynn to continue engaging with agencies and attending courses designed to address his offending, Judge Miller told him: “You are an intelligent man who knows what your issues are and you know how to address them.
“This is your final opportunity to address these issues.”
A Crown prosecutor explained the Sopo was initially imposed in November 2011, banning Flynn from deleting his internet usage history and from owning or using a mobile phone that had internet access without the approval of a designated risk manager (DRM).
In January 2016, police discovered a laptop at Flynn’s address but were unable to find an internet access history. They later uncovered a total of 15 indecent images of children on the device and searches which were “indicative of an interest in children or images of child abuse”.
In June last year, officers seized a mobile phone and tablet during another random check at Flynn’s home.
When he was arrested, Flynn admitted he should have informed his DRM about the devices. He initially denied accessing child porn and instead claimed the images had popped up when he was searching for adult porn.
A defence lawyer said Flynn’s offending has “greatly dissipated”, especially since he is “well monitored and regulated”.
He told the court Flynn has experienced the loss of his family due to the nature of his offending, but pointed out he is currently engaged with agencies and “has sought help from church groups”.
Passing sentence, Judge Miller said Flynn appeared in court with “no excuse for not appreciating the consequences of his actions” and appeared to display a “sexual entitlement attitude”.
The judge also noted the “serious abuse” of the children in the images, adding the “pain, discomfort and fear suffered by the children” was for the “perverted pleasure” of those looking at the material.
Handing Flynn the two-year sentence suspended for three years, Judge Miller warned him that if he offends within that time, he would be sent to prison.
John Flynn at Belfast Crown Court after sentencing