Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Ex-prison officer caught with child porn haul walks free from court

William Moore leaves Belfast Crown Court after being sentenced for possessing 2,000 indecent images of girls
William Moore leaves Belfast Crown Court after being sentenced for possessing 2,000 indecent images of girls

A once-distinguished prison officer who admitted possessing more than 2,000 indecent images of girls has walked free from court after being put on probation for three years.

Craigavon Crown Court sitting in Belfast heard how former principal prison officer William Moore (62) of Bellevue Drive, Lisburn, had previously received a community services medal but was arrested last August when cops uncovered the haul of child pornography.

Prosecuting lawyer Ian Tannahill told the court how the offences came to light after an intelligence-led police search of Moore's home, during which police seized two computers.

Moore admitted the existence of the images, including movie files, to police at the scene with 118 images uncovered on one machine and 1929 on the second computer,

Mr Tannahill said although Moore had not viewed them since 2008 and had in fact deleted them at that time, a forensic examination of the computers revealed that a "large number" of the images had been in the Level One category with some in Levels Three and Four.

Imposing the three year probation programme, Judge Gemma Loughran said she accepted Moore had not viewed the material since 2008 when he had last logged on and that he had admitted his actions to police when they came to his home, later pleading guilty to 17 offences of possessing indecent images of children on dates between December 22, 2007 and August 24 last year.

Moore also "bitterly regretted and remains deeply embarrassed by his actions", the judge told the court adding that he had "served his country" as a prison officer and had been awarded the Imperial Service Medal for services to the community.

Loughran told Moore: "However, the stigma of what you did will remain with you for the rest of your life and the offences of possession of images relating to children are not victimless offences, as the children have been subjected to appalling assaults on their innocence to enable these images to be taken."

Judge Loughran accepted a Probation Service recommendation that Moore spend three years on probation during which he must undertake a series of programmes to enable him to deal with his behaviour and stop him re-engaging in similar activity.

Fining Moore £2000 for possession of the Level Four images, to be paid over twenty weeks, the judge said: "You should pay back to the community in some way for what you have taken out, in the broadest sense."

She also ordered the images be destroyed from the computers and either the computers or the profits from their sale be donated to a childrens' charity. 

Under the terms of the eight-year SOPO ruling Moore must not have any contact or work with young children under the age of 18 without supervision and he must allow police access to his computer at any time.
 

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