Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Child porn accused architect 'claimed photos were of ex-girlfriend'

Ivan Carson, of Belfast, faces charges of making and possessing indecent images of children.
Ivan Carson, of Belfast, faces charges of making and possessing indecent images of children.

An architect accused of having indecent images of children claimed some were photos of an ex-girlfriend, the High Court heard today.

The pictures were discovered along with other images of girls aged as young as seven during police searches of Ivan Carson's home in Belfast.

Counsel for the 59-year-old registered sex offender said they were internet print-outs from 14 years ago which his client had forgotten all about.

Carson, of Downshire Park South in the city, faces charges of making and possessing indecent images of children.

He was granted bail after pledging to lodge a £10,000 cash surety.

A judge was told the material was located in a briefcase on the top shelf of a bedroom wardrobe on January 7.

Nine downloaded A4 print-outs dated October 1999 showed a girl believed to be 11 or 12.

She was posing in some of the pictures with another girl aged around seven, the court heard.

Another five actual photographs depicting an older girl were seized by police.

She was estimated by the prosecution to be as young as 16 years old.

A Crown lawyer said: "The applicant said they are an old girlfriend but won't give police the name of that person so they can verify her age or when the photos were taken."

But Conor O'Kane, defending, argued that in some photos she is older.

He contended that the other print-outs were in the least serious category and had been found alongside boxes of architectural drawings stored away.

Mr O'Kane said: "The defendant's case from the very moment he was arrested was 'I didn't realise those images were there, I have obviously forgotten about them, they are very old'."

It was claimed that Carson had not touched the brief case in years.

According to his barrister the images discovered in it were "a hangover" from behaviour which led to him being registered as a sex offender.

Granting bail, Mr Justice O'Hara accepted it was possible that the downloads were old material missed during previous police searches.

"The five actual photographs are of some concern but perhaps less concern that the October 1999 photographs," he said.

The judge imposed a ban on internet access as part of the release conditions.

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