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Fake 'casting agent' Tyrone child sex abuser to be freed

By Michael Donnelly

A Co Tyrone man considered by the National Crime Agency as being involved in one of the worst cases "of sexual exploitation of children", could be freed within hours on Friday because of time already served.

Michael Dynes, originally from Dungannon, but now living in a hostel in Ballymena, was also put on the Sex Offenders' register for life and subjected to a Sex Offences Prevention Order which will monitor him for the next ten years.

Dungannon Crown Court had heard that 39-year-old Dynes set himself up as a fake model agent tricking both children and adults to pose for him, and sometimes into preforming lewd sex acts.

The court was also told that a married Dynes "who continues to enjoy some degree of family support" had targeted young people through ads he'd placed on the Gumtree web sight 'seeking life models'.

Dynes would then, "through subterfuge" said the judge, audition his unsuspecting victims by web cam, in some cases while pretending to be a female.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC sentenced Dynes, who has already served the equivalent of a 28-month sentence, to a total of three years and one month.

The judge said instead of returning him back to jail for a 'month or two', the public and children would best be protected if he increased his period of "statutory supervision", allowing him to complete "a tailored" probation run sex offenders' rehabilitation course.

Judge Rafferty told Dynes that he had been a married man, in employment, with a home, but "now all of that is gone solely due to your own criminal behaviour," and because of his criminality, he had "ruined" his life, and that again was "entirely your own fault".

Dynes offending, between 2007, and 2015, ranged from downloading images of child sex abuse, through to voyeurism, to inciting children to perform acts, to fraudulent behaviour, involving four female adult victims.

However, he said he "wanted to make it clear, these images of children are real live children.  They are children who live and breath and who have been sexually abused ... so people like you can view them.

"No-one should be in any doubt that market would not exist but for people like you .... no-one should be in any doubt that, sitting in the privacy of their own home, can distance themselves from the fact it is a real live child being abused for your satisfaction".

Judge Rafferty said that as the internet continued to impact on the modern world, the law would continue to develop in relation to it, but that he was bound by the current guideline with regard to sentencing.

However, he also told Dynes that he had received a positive detailed probation report showing his shame and acceptance of his guilt and remorse and when released on bail had shown himself to be "open, honest and transparent with probation about your offending".

Judge Rafferty said Dynes also displayed victim awareness and was willing to engage with probation and the treatment programmes, which "is no easy option".

He added, he was satisfied he should be given full credit but that his sentence was meant not only to punish him, but also to deter others.

However, Judge Rafferty warned the Tyrone man that even one single breach of any of the statutory orders surrounding his sentence, and he would be remanded back into prison to serve out the full term.

In all Dynes pleaded guilt to a total of 41 charges ranging from making and possessing indecent images of children, inciting them, some younger than 13, to engage in a sexual act and four charges of voyeurism.

He was caught following one of the first major investigations in Northern Ireland carried out by the National Crime Agency and the PSNI into child sex exploitation.

Among the images of child sex abuse were over a thousand, over 400 of which prosecution barrister Simon Reid revealed on Friday "of first generation type images".

Some of the images were in the highest category 5, whilst in respect of the voyeurism matters, he was caught on his own recording equipment installing it in a bedroom, which then filmed a female carrying out private acts.

The court heard that a camera was also installed by Dynes in a workplace kitchen, which resulted in “up-skirt” filming.

In mitigation, the defence said Dynes had "lost everything – his family, his wife, his job and respect. All have gone", but at the same time acknowledged "and that is his fault. He cannot get any lower.”

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