Belfast Telegraph

Convicted paedophile is spared new jail term so he can get help

By George Jackson

A convicted paedophile who had extreme images of children being abused has been spared jail.

Judge Philip Babington said he was not jailing Christopher Martin McGuinness (48) because he might not get the medical treatment he needs to address his attraction to children in prison.

Instead, he imposed an eight-month sentence on the Greysteel man, which was suspended for three years.

He also placed a series of restrictions on his activities, including a ban on being near children.

McGuinness had pleaded guilty to a total of 37 charges of making and possessing indecent images of children being sexually abused.

He committed the offences on dates between May 2011 and May 2012.

The images, some of an extreme pornographic nature involving bestiality, were found on McGuinness's computer when the police searched his Inishowen View home on May 4, 2012.

Police were investigating other allegations relating to McGuinness and had obtained a warrant to search his home.

As well as finding indecent images of children on McGuinness's computer, the police also found images of a disgusting and of a grossly offensive nature on videos and on DVDs in the house. Judge Babington told Londonderry Crown Court a total of 222 indecent images of children were found, with two in the highest category.

The judge revealed McGuinness had also been jailed for four years at Downpatrick Crown Court in 2012, when he was convicted of other sexual offences against children.

He served half the sentence in custody and was released on licence this May. McGuinness' period of supervision on licence was to last until 2016, but Judge Babington said he was now revoking it and imposing new restrictions.

Judge Babington said a pre-sentence report on McGuinness had stated that "a custodial sentence may result in there being insufficient time for him to undertake the long-term treatment required in order for him to address his sexual attraction to young children".

The judge said it was therefore his view "that it is not in the public interest to interfere with the treatment as the treatment is designed to protect children, and that should be paramount".

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