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Child porn ‘fantasist’ released on probation

A 41-year-old “fantasist” who downloaded child pornography has been given two years’ probation.

Philip Alexander Macauley of Lantry Court in east Belfast, who was also put on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years, admitted 13 sample counts of making indecent images of children over a two year period up to April 2007.

Ordering him to undertake a specialist probation course, Judge Norman Lockie said that, according to reports, Macauley — who resigned his senior post with the CCEA exam board — presented a low risk of reoffending and posed no serious harm to the public.

The Belfast Crown Court judge also accepted that the 2,000 plus images Macauley had were low on the scale of seriousness and that he had no interest in watching more serious material in levels three to five.

Defence solicitor Paul Farrell said that, according to reports, Macauley's offending was “in fantasy only” and that the images he looked at never “progressed into anything higher”.

Macauley, he added, “has expressed his remorse, regret and great shame” for what he had done and, in reality, “this man's life has simply disintegrated and fallen apart”.

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