Belfast Telegraph

Man facing jail for distributing images of child sex abuse found prison for distributing images of child sex abuse

A former cinema projectionist was warned yesterday that he faces a
A former cinema projectionist was warned yesterday that he faces a "significant custodial sentence" for distributing indecent images of young children being sexually abused

By John Cassidy

A former cinema projectionist was warned yesterday that he faces a "significant custodial sentence" for distributing indecent images of young children being sexually abused.

James McCaffrey (40), of Ladybrook Park in Belfast, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to a total of 25 charges, including five counts of distributing indecent images of children and 16 charges of possessing indecent images of children.

The father-of-one also admitted three counts of possessing an extreme pornographic image and one charge of an adult inciting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecution lawyer Simon Jenkins told the court that in September 2016 police raided the home of McCaffrey's parents where he was living at the time.

Judge Piers Grant heard that the search was carried out after "police received information that indecent images had been distributed from the defendant's internet address".

Four electronic devices were seized and during police interview McCaffrey denied accessing or saving indecent images of children and he also denied "having a sexual interest in children''.

Mr Jenkins said: "A total of 759 indecent images were found across all four devices, including 76 of an extreme pornographic nature. A number of these images were saved in personal folders by the defendant."

He added that evidence also showed that he had been sharing with others online indecent images of children being sexually abused, some of whom were as young as five years old.

Police also discovered a video of a "sexual" Skype chat McCaffrey had with a female who called herself 'Killa Squad' and "purported to be a 15-year-old girl".

The prosecution lawyer requested a destruction order for the four devices and asked the judge to make McCaffrey the subject of a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO).

Defence barrister Michael Boyd said McCaffrey lost his job five years ago as a cinema projectionist "which had a devastating impact on his life. He presents as inadequate and vulnerable man".

He told the court that after the defendant was made redundant, he started "misusing alcohol" and began using the internet to contact "strangers in chat rooms" to engage in "these shameful offences".

After his arrest, he had to leave his parents' home over his "embarrassing, shameful and disgraceful behaviour".

"He is ashamed of himself and is deeply sorry and realises the hurt he has caused to others through his actions. That is something he has to live with."

Judge Grant said he was adjourning sentencing to allow McCaffrey to seek professional medical help to "address his alcohol problems which were the primary source and cause of this offending".

But the judge warned: "At the moment he is going to be sentenced to a significant period in custody.

"He has two weeks to show that he is determined to commit to do something about his alcohol problems."

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