Jailed for eight months for viewing 4,000 indecent images of children

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A ‘loner’ who admitted viewing 4,000 indecent images of children has been jailed for eight months.

Paul O’Kane, of Clonmeen Drive, Strathfoyle, pleaded guilty to a total of 42 child porn offences committed between July 2001 and August 2013.

They include making indecent images of children and possessing indecent images of children.

Derry Crown Court heard that police searched the 47-year-old’s home in August last year.

When officers arrived, he handed over a box file full of discs and said ‘this is what you are looking for’.

Two laptops, a computer tower and two external hard drives were seized during the search.

A number of photographs were also discovered and seized by police.

All of these items were sent for examination and between 2,000 and 4,000 indecent images and movie files were found.

It was revealed there were 884 images which were category one, the least harmful category, 94 level two images, 15 level three images and one level four.

In relation to the movie files there were 42 level one, 110 level two and 8 level four.

The images were of children as young as seven or eight years old up to teenagers aged between 15 or 16.

It was revealed that the 47-year-old was remanded in custody less than a month ago after he was found in possession of a computer, in breach of bail conditions.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court O’Kane was a very lonely individual who has no real family or friends.

Mr Devlin said “the best thing that happened to this man was that he was detected,” adding he could not carry on in this way.

He said O’Kane knew he had to be punished for his actions and accepted it was wrong.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said : “I take into account that these images were never shared. They were kept entirely for himself although that is not to say it is victimless. The victims are the children in the images and movie clips.”

He added that cases like this are ‘worrying in case the individual does something more’.

Judge Babington imposed a determinate sentence of eight months custody and a further eight months spent on licence.

O’Kane must sign the sex offenders register for ten years and is disqualified from working with children.

The 47-year-old will also be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for an indefinite period.

This bans O’Kane from using a computer, phone or mobile device with internet access without prior approval of a risk manager.

He is also prohibited from any unavoidable contact with children without prior approval and from forming a relationship without disclosing his convictions.