Belfast Telegraph

Deaf man to be sentenced for child porn offences in the new year

A west Belfast man yesterday pleaded guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children
A west Belfast man yesterday pleaded guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children

By John Cassidy

A west Belfast man yesterday pleaded guilty to making and distributing indecent images of children.

Martin Smith entered pleas to a total of 32 charges with the aid an interpreter when he appeared in court for an arraignment hearing.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Smith, with an address at Trostan Gardens off the Andersonstown Road, was "profoundly deaf" and needed the assistance of an interpreter to translate the charges to him by the use of sign language.

Through the interpreter, 57-year-old Smith pleaded guilty in court to 20 charges of making indecent or pseudo photographs and videos of children on dates between November and December 2014.

He also admitted that between the same dates he distributed indecent images and videos of children.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to a further six charges of possessing extreme pornographic images and videos of children in 2014.

He pleaded not guilty to six charges of possessing indecent images of children on dates between June 2010 and January 2015.

Prosecution barrister Simon Jenkins told the court that he would need to take instructions from the Public Prosecution Service in relation to the six not-guilty pleas.

However, he added: "I don't think these matters will further trouble the court."

Defence counsel Mark Farrell asked Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland to request a pre-sentence report from the probation service.

He added that given the defendant's "profound deafness", he would be submitting a report from a medical expert for the sentencing hearing.

Judge McFarland told Smith that in the light of his guilty pleas, he would be placed on the sex offenders' register and the length of that period would be determined by what sentence the court imposed.

The Belfast Recorder said the sex offenders' register required Smith to provide police with his name, address and National Insurance number, along with any other personal details.

"I have to inform you that your name may appear on the barred list of working with children and vulnerable adults by virtue of your conviction today," added the judge.

Smith was released on continuing bail and was told by Judge McFarland that he will be sentenced at the end of January next year.

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