Legal history was made in a trial yesterday when a Crown Court jury had to endure sexually explicit videos involving an alleged underage girl.
Before the trial of Brian Magee (33) began at Antrim Crown Court, trial Judge Donna McColgan QC warned the jury their role in coming to conclusions on the evidence would entail them having to view four videos allegedly involving two young girls.
Magee, from Mount Street in Coleraine, faces a total of 13 charges, four of having indecent videos of a child and nine of having extreme pornography, relating to multiple images and more than 80 videos of adult women being subjected to severe bondage, asphyxiation and strangulation on dates between April 23 and June 15 2016.
Opening the Crown case, prosecuting counsel Suzanne Gallagher told the jury of five men and seven women the videos and images were uncovered on a computer tower and laptop seized by police when they searched Magee's home.
Arrested and interviewed, Magee denied the girls in the four allegedly indecent videos were under 18, but refused to explain how they were on his devices.
Before the videos were played to the jury Ms Gallagher explained that the first three, entitled 'for you Daddy', 'slut Amanda' and 'Nice teen', all involved the same female while the fourth involved a second female.
It is the first time that a jury in Northern Ireland has had to view allegedly indecent images of a child.
While the first video was played in its entirety, just over four minutes long and depicting a young girl performing sex acts on herself and making explicit comments, the second and third were only partly played after Judge McColgan interjected that, as all three involved the same female, "let the jury form their own view" as to her age.
The fourth video, depicting a young girl performing sex acts on herself, was also cut short after the judge asked the defence and prosecution: "Is there any need for any more of this?"
Giving evidence, Detective Constable Hamill from the PSNI Cyber Crime team outlined that the way the videos and images had been stored on the devices meant the user had "actively decided" to download and store them in an accessible folder.
He told the jury how the four videos had originated from two specific websites, adding one was from a "legitimate pornography site" but which had posted videos of underage girls before.
Under cross-examination from defence counsel Francis Rafferty, DC Hamill conceded that, while a person viewing adult material on a legal site "might legitimately expect such a site to police their content that all models are over 18", "we all have an innate ability to assess a person's age".
Mr Rafferty suggested that although many pornographic videos had descriptions attached, such as "doctors and nurses having sex in a hospital, they may not in fact be actual medical staff" and again, the officer agreed that could be the case.
The trial continues.