Belfast man jailed for Facebook penis photo sent to teenager
A Belfast man who sent a 13-year old boy a picture of his penis on Facebook Messenger service was jailed for 12 months on Tuesday.
Ciaran James McAuley - who Belfast Crown Court heard was a promising boxer before a "disappointment" beset him - was handed an additional extended licence period of 12 months which he will serve when released, after he was deemed to be dangerous.
The 27-year old, who at the time was living at a hostel on Belfast's Victoria Street, targeted the schoolboy last April.
As well as sending the 13-year old a picture of his penis, McAuley also asked the teenager to send him a photograph of his genitals.
The Court heard both incidents occurred when McAuley was on bail for sexually assaulting a nine-year old boy in a north Belfast alleyway. He was jailed for two years last December for the sex attack on the boy, which occurred in August 2014 after the young victim and his friend were walking home from a fun fair.
Passing sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC spoke of the seriousness of the offences, and the negative effect his actions have had on his young victim. This included the teenager feeling angry, bad tempered and embarrassed by what happened.
At a previous hearing, the court was told that McAuley's criminal behaviour came to light at the end of April when the 13-year old boy informed his parents he had been contacted by a man who was demanding that he send him inappropriate pictures.
In the first incident on April 7, the teen said the man in question claimed he was 19 and asked about football. He also asked the teenager if he was gay, as well as requesting that he send him a picture of his penis.
On April 20, McAuley contacted the teenager again and on this occasion he sent the youngster an image of himself naked from the waist down with his penis clearly visible. The teenager replied by saying "you shouldn't be sending that to a 13-year old boy."
After the teenager informed his parents about what was happening, an investigation was launched and McAuley was arrested. During a series of police interviews, McAuley initially denied having a mobile phone, having a Facebook account and also denied sending pictures of his penis - but later admitted his guilt.
A defence barrister said his client had a "structured upbringing" which including a promising career as a boxer, as well as completing a university degree. The barrister said McAuley's problems were linked to cannabis abuse, and occurred at a time when McAuley spend hours at home watching online porn.
The barrister also told the court there was no face to face, or physical contact between McAuley and the teenager, adding his client was both "regretful and remorseful" for his actions.