A comedian from Northern Ireland who wanted to watch vulnerable children being sexually abused online has been jailed for four years and nine months.
Paedophile Eamon Goodfellow paid money to fixers in the Philippines and Romania who he hoped would arrange for the abuse of a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old as he watched from his home thousands of miles away.
Passing sentence on the 50-year-old, Judge Michael Simon said: “Advances in technology have brought great benefits to society as a whole.”
But he said they had also created the circumstances in which certain types of criminal behaviour could be easily committed.
Goodfellow, originally from Co Armagh, appeared for sentence yesterday at St Albans Crown Court having been convicted earlier this year of two offences of attempting to cause or incite the sexual exploitation of a child.
Chat logs found on his computers showed he was seeking children under 13 years old.
The offences were committed in 2017 and it was the following year, in June 2018, that he was arrested at his home in St Albans after the National Crime Agency (NCA) found evidence of his payments to the abusers.
Following his conviction, Martin Ludlow from the National Crime Agency said: “Goodfellow made it very clear that he has sexual interest in young children in these chat logs.
“He attempted to arrange for the most horrific abuse of vulnerable children thousands of miles away from him for his own gratification.
“He was helped by facilitators whose motive is to make money. This kind of financially-driven offending is a key threat to the UK.”
Using a laptop and iPhone, Goodfellow of Apex House, Camp Road, St Albans, had set about trying to organise the abuse of the youngsters.
In fact, no child was actually abused after negotiations with the fixers abroad broke down.
But his online activities came to the notice of the NCA and his arrest followed.
Goodfellow had previously run comedy nights in Nantwich, Cheshire.
Yesterday, his barrister Adam King said the comic had lived a lonely life and had found it difficult to form romantic relationships after leaving Northern Ireland and coming to England .
He said were it not for the availability of pornography online, Goodfellow might not have gone down the “dark path” adding “but here he is today.”
Mr King said as a result of his offending he had lost “almost all of his friends and half of his family.”
When he is released from prison he said his client will have no job, money or accommodation.
He said it had been a fantasy that had got out of control.
In the past, Goodfellow had his own stand-up show “Humour Trafficking” where a publicity poster read: “So funny it’s illegal.”
He continued to crack gags on paedophilia, incest and pornography before his case came to St Albans Crown Court.
Online he joked about a young comedian being too ugly for the ‘child molesting Moors murderers’ Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
The comedian also worked for the lottery firm Camelot.
Camelot employees said they felt sick to know that Goodfellow was present at family parties.
A spokesperson for Camelot said: “We were unaware of the charges until the conviction. We immediately suspended the employee and the matter is subject to Camelot’s internal disciplinary process.”
Judge Simon told Goodfellow: “These offences amount to nothing less than abuse on demand”
Goodfellow was told he would serve half of the sentence before being released on licence.
In addition he was told he would be made the subject of sexual harm prevention order which will run for 10 years and his name will go on the sex offenders' register for life.
The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the laptop and iPad.