No additional jail time for man who tricked children into posing for him

Officers of the National Crime Agency
Officers of the National Crime Agency

A Co Tyrone man who was convicted of child sex crimes after an operation involving the UK-wide National Crime Agency has been freed shortly after being sentenced because of time already served in prison.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC sentenced Michael Dynes – who is believed to have already spent about 14 months behind bars – to a total of 37 months for his crimes; made up of 13 months in jail, and the rest on supervised licensed parole.

The judge said instead of returning Dynes back to jail now for a “month or two” now, the public and children would best be protected if he increased his period of “statutory supervision”, allowing him to complete a sex offenders’ habilitation course.

Dynes – originally from Dungannon, but now living in a hostel in Ballymena – was also put on the Sex Offenders’ register for life and subjected to a Sex Offences Prevention Order on Friday, enabling his monitoring for the next 10 years.

Dungannon Crown Court had heard that the 39-year-old set himself up as a fake model agent, tricking both children and adults to pose for him, and sometimes into performing sex acts.

The court was also told that Dynes, “who continues to enjoy some degree of family support”, had targeted young people through ads he had placed on the Gumtree website, seeking “life models”.

Dynes’ offending, between 2007 and 2015, involved a total of 41 charges and ranged from downloading images of child sex abuse, through to voyeurism and inciting children – some as young as 13 – to perform acts. It also included fraudulent behaviour involving four female adult victims.

The judge also told Dynes that he had received a positive detailed probation report, showing his shame and acceptance of his guilt and remorse.

When released on bail had shown himself to be “open, honest and transparent with probation about your offending”.

Judge Rafferty told Dynes that he had been a married man, in employment, with a home, but “now all of that is gone solely due to your own criminal behaviour,” and that it was “entirely your own fault”.

He also warned Dynes that the Tyrone man that even one single breach of any of the statutory orders surrounding his sentence, and he would be remanded back into prison to serve out the full term.

He was caught following one of the first major investigations in Northern Ireland carried out by the National Crime Agency and the PSNI into child sex exploitation.