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Paedophile obsessed with schoolgirls avoids prison over child porn

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 15/04/2016

Gerard Todd, from Dickeytown in Ballyclare, was placed on probation for three years after he admitted possessing 28 indecent images of children
Gerard Todd, from Dickeytown in Ballyclare, was placed on probation for three years after he admitted possessing 28 indecent images of children

A Co Antrim man with a self-confessed unhealthy interest in schoolgirls has been placed on probation after child porn was found on his computer equipment.

Gerard Todd, from Dickeytown in Ballyclare, was placed on probation for three years after he admitted possessing 28 indecent images of children.

The 55-year-old's home was searched by police on February 13, 2013 and two laptops were seized.

The images were discovered after the computers were forensically searched.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins told Belfast Crown Court that when Todd was interviewed about the images he admitted using the laptops to search for and view pornographic images of children.

He further admitted having an "unhealthy interest in schoolgirls".

Mr Jenkins also spoke of the defendant's "relevant record" as an "aggravating factor in the case".

In 1997 Todd was charged with indecent behaviour after he parked close to a school bus and was observed with his hands down his trousers.

And in 2013 he was charged with the theft of a schoolgirl's gym bag, which he stole from outside an Asda store in Ballyclare.

A defence barrister spoke of the "relatively modest" amount of images located on the laptops, revealed they were still pictures as opposed to movies, and said that a "majority" of the images were in the least serious category.

Telling Todd that "such behaviour simply cannot be tolerated", Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that these images "can only come about because of the abuse of children... who are abused in the most serious way".

Placing Todd under three years' probation, the judge also ordered the defendant to complete a sexual offenders programme.

Belfast Telegraph

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