Northern Ireland

Man's wife found child pornography in bag

A man whose wife found child pornography in his bag has been jailed for nine months by Belfast Crown Court.

The judge ordered the 45-year-old to sign the police sex offenders register for 10 years.

He also imposed a seven-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order, barring the man from having any internet capable devices without permission.

After hearing how the man's daughter tried to kill herself, the judge banned his identity from being revealed.

The Belfast father-of-three had earlier pleaded guilty to 22 charges relating to indecent images of children and two further counts of possessing extreme pornography on various dates between 28 October 2006 and 27 April 2010.

A lawyer for the prosecution had told an earlier court how almost 200 images were uncovered on the man's home computer and a pen drive in his work bag.

The lawyer said the man's wife had alerted the police after she uncovered the images on the portable memory stick in the bag.

He told the court that while the large majority of the images were in the lower categories of one and two, there were two in category four and more than 30, including some movie files in the most heinous level of category five.

The lawyer said it was an aggravating factor that while some of those pictured in the images were teenage girls, there were many images that depicted the abuse of girls aged around eight or nine years old.

Arrested and interviewed, the Belfast man admitted downloading the images but claimed he had been intending on destroying the pen drive.

The man's lawyer said his client had already paid a heavy price by the loss of his family, his wife, his job, his career and his reputation, adding that he too had contemplated suicide.

Jailing the 45-year-old, the judge said the evidence "suggests it was not the case" that he was intending to destroy the images given the length of time he had been downloading the material.