Northern Ireland

Child sex-abuse 'casting agent' is freed

Michael Dynes
Image caption Michael Dynes pictured outside Dungannon Courthouse - he pleaded guilty to 41 sex charges

A man involved in "one of the most serious cases of sexual exploitation of children" the National Crime Agency has ever tackled has been freed after being sentenced to time he has already served in prison.

Michael Dynes, 39, targeted young people through online advertisements for life models.

The court heard he "auditioned" young people via webcam.

Posing as a "casting agent", he would incite them to commit sexual acts.

Dynes, who is originally from Dungannon, County Tyrone, but now lives in a hostel in Ballymena, County Antrim, pleaded guilty to 41 sex charges, including making and possessing indecent images of children.

He also admitted inciting children, some of whom were younger than 13 years old, to engage in a sexual act as well as four charges of voyeurism.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Dynes was arrested as part of the first joint operation between the NCA and the PSNI

The judge at Dungannon Crown Court said the public would be better protected by extending the supervised licence period to allow Dynes to undergo a full course of treatment, instead of returning him to prison for a month or two.

The court was told that Dynes has lost his job, marriage and his home as a result of his offending.

"All of that is now gone, solely due to your own criminal behaviour," the judge told him.

"The offences effectively ruined your life. That is entirely your own fault."

He added that the images Dynes owned and created were of "real-life children... who have been sexually abused so that people like you can view them".

"No one should be in any doubt, that market would not exist but for people like you."

Image caption Dungannon Crown Court heard 1,133 indecent images were found on Dynes' computers

Dynes was caught on his own recording equipment while installing it in a bedroom, which then filmed a female carrying out private acts.

A camera was also installed by Dynes in a workplace kitchen, which resulted in "up-skirt" filming.

The defendant had spent 14 months remanded in custody in prison, which the judge said was the equivalent of a 28-month sentence.

The judge imposed a sentence of three years and one month on all counts, and set the period of custody at 13 months followed by 24 months supervision.

He said this was the minimum necessary for Dynes to complete the tailored sex offenders order that he needed.

He said the sentence would punish him for his criminal behaviour, serve as a deterrent to others and lead to his not committing any further offences.

The judge also said any breach of the heavily-monitored supervision would see him returned to prison for the full period of the sentence.

'Chatted with children online'

The judge added that as the internet continued to impact upon the modern world, "the law will continue to develop in this area".

Dynes was put on the sex offenders' register for life and will be subjected to terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) that will monitor him for the next 10 years.

He was arrested as part of Operation Jarra, a joint operation between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

His home was searched in June 2015 and a forensic examination of his computers revealed 1,133 indecent images.

An NCA officer told an earlier court hearing that the investigation had revealed Dynes was chatting with boys and girls online and trying to incite them into committing sexual acts.

The officer described the matter as "one of the most serious cases of sexual exploitation of children encountered by the agency".

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