A Belfast man appeared in court today on charges linked to indecent images of children which were sent to his phone by a transsexual he became obsessed with.
Thomas Hugh McGuinness, 39, from Riverview Meadows, was placed on probation for three years and will be on the Sex Offenders Register for five years after he pleaded guilty to possessing 10 indecent images of children.
Belfast Crown Court heard that nine of the images were in Category One – the least serious category of indecency – while the tenth image was Category Two.
Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins said McGuinness’s offending came to light when his home was searched on October 13, 2013.
McGuinness’s phone was seized and when it was examined, officers phone the indecent images of children in a KiK Messenger app.
When he was interviewed by police, McGuinness said he had become obsessed with a transsexual he met via the app. He said that he and the transsexual sent text messages to each other, and that he also received the indecent images from the transsexual.
A defence barrister told Judge Gordon Kerr QC that McGuinness’s conviction has had “catastrophic” consequences on his client.
Telling the court the images in question were small in number and were in the “lowest category” of seriousness, the barrister added McGuinness was “genuinely remorseful” for what he had done.