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Ex-policeman (71) caught with a stash of child porn avoids jail

By Ashleigh McBonald

Published 23/04/2016

A retired police officer whose computers were found to contain child pornography has been given three years' probation
A retired police officer whose computers were found to contain child pornography has been given three years' probation

A retired police officer whose computers were found to contain child pornography has been given three years' probation.

Eric McIlveen, a policeman for 30 years, was also made the subject of a seven-year Sexual Offenders Prevention Order.

Belfast Crown Court heard the 71-year-old, from Stirling Road in east Belfast, was caught with 353 indecent images of children, along with two videos.

The court was told the majority of these images were classed as being in the lowest category of seriousness.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins said the defendant's home was searched on May 6 last year by officers acting on information that indecent images were being accessed from his address.

McIlveen's computer and laptop were seized, and the images were found following a forensic examination of the equipment.

The pensioner admitted he had clicked on images of young children, but claimed he had then deleted them.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to 12 counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, and of possessing an extremely pornographic image.

Defence solicitor Darren Duncan said that his client came before the court with a clear criminal record.

Mr Duncan added that when police first arrived at the defendant's home, McIlveen "made it clear it was him that they needed to speak to".

The solicitor spoke of his client's long police career, before revealing that the offending was "a combination of many things" including a family tragedy and ill-health, which had caused him to "move towards porn online".

Mr Duncan also told the court that McIlveen was remorseful and had shown insight.

However, Judge Gordon Kerr QC spoke of the "serious abuse" suffered by the children in the images and videos that were used "to satisfy the interests of people like this defendant".

He also branded McIlveen's offending "unacceptable".

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