Co Antrim man gets probation for child porn images

Court
Court

A Co Antrim man with a self-confessed “unhealthy interest in schoolgirls” has been sentenced 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 on February 13, 2013, resulting in two laptops being seized. When the equipment was forensically examined, the images were located.

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 child porn.

Todd further admitted having an “unhealthy interest in schoolgirls”.

Mr Jenkins also spoke of Todd’s “relevant record” which he said was 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. In 2013 he was charged with the theft of a schoolgirl’s gym bag, which he stole from outside the Asda store in Ballyclare.

A defence barrister spoke of the “relatively modest” amount of images located on the laptops, and also revealed they were still images as opposed to movies with a “majority” of the images in the least serious category.

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

As well as the probation, Todd has to complete the Sexual Offenders Programme as part of his conditions.