Man who made and possessed indecent images of children avoids prison

Laganside Courts, Belfast
Laganside Courts, Belfast
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A 56-year-old Belfast man suffering from a “myriad of significant medical issues” who admitted making and possessing indecent images of children has been placed on three years’ probation “as the best way to protect society”.

Freeing Eamonn Keenan, who carries around his own supply of oxygen, Judge Stephen Fowler QC said he had “come to the view that this is a somewhat exceptional case”, given the small number of images involved, the former dockers’ medical problems and his “recognition of the damage he has done”.

Keenan, from Carlisle Square, who pleaded guilty to seven charges of making, and two of possession, of indecent images of children, had also shown genuine remorse, said Judge Fowler. Keenan, he added, had expressed his shame and wished he’d never got involved in such activities.

Judge Fowler said Keenan, in addition to his early pleas, had shown some level of insight into his offending which he had described as being “totally wrong”.

Prosecution lawyer David McNeill had previously told Belfast Crown Court that the offences dated back to between November 2011 and May the following year. The indecent images said counsel, totalling 17, included video clips in the most serious categories A and B.

Defence barrister Barry Gibson, who submitted a number of “very comprehensive” medical and other reports, said Keenan had expressed his “regret and his personal disgust at accessing these images” and for which he is “extremely embarrassed”.

Mr Gibson said Keenan was suffering from “chronic ill health” and is to undergo even more tests for a number of medical conditions.