Man viewed thousands of indecent images

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

A man who downloaded several thousand indecent images of children is to be sentenced next week.

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

They include making an indecent photo of a child and possessing an indecent photo of a child.

Derry Crown Court heard police searched the 47-year-old’s home on August 20, last year.

O’Kane immediately handed them a box file of discs and told officers ‘this is what you are looking for’.

Police also removed other storage, two laptops, a tower computer and two external hard drives.

The court was told these 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 lowest 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.

None of the images or movie files fell into the worst category five.

The court was told the images were of children as young as seven or eight up to the age of 15 or 16.

It was confirmed that the 47-year-old did not distribute the images to any one else.

During police interview O’Kane admitted viewing indecent images of children. He claimed he had an interest in naturism but denied he had a sexual interest in children.

Officers asked the 47-year-old if he was aroused by the images and he said ‘not a lot’.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin told the court his client ‘fully accepts his culpability’ and the matter coming to court is a ‘weight off his shoulders in a way’.

He said O’Kane is a ‘very lonely individual’ who has ‘no real family or friends’.

The barrister said ‘the best thing that happened to this man was that he was detected’ because he could not carry on in this way.

He added the 47-year-old ‘knows he has to be punished for this and accepts it was wrong’.

Mr Devlin also told the court O’Kane is now more forthcoming about his attraction to juveniles.

The barrister revealed that his client’s home ‘was under threat’ as a result of these convictions and ‘his life in this city may have to come tpo an end when he serves his sentence. He may have to move to another town or city’.

Judge Philip Babington adjourned sentencing to allow him to ‘consider the matter’.

O’Kane was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on Tuesday.