Probation for indecent images offences

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A 30-year-old man who admitted possessing indecent images of children has ‘feelings of shame and disgust at what he had done’.

Christopher Mark Thaddeus McLaughlin, of Woodlee, pleaded guilty to 11 indecent images offences committed between February 2012 and May 2016.

They include charges of making and possessing indecent images.

Derry Crown Court heard all the children seen in the images were ‘young’.

Police searched McLaughlin’s home on May 17, 2016 and he directed them to a laptop, mobile phone and a computer.

During police interview, the defendant admitted looking at indecent images.

He said he had gone onto the dark web ‘out of curiosity’ but ‘now had feelings of shame and disgust at what he had done’.

The court was told the 30-year-old had viewed images ranging from the most severe classification to the least severe.

Defence counsel Fergal McCormick said his client’s involvement in this offending was ‘born out of curiosity’.He added McLaughlin had nothing to do with either the creation or the distribution of the images.

The barrister also told the court the offending had brought ‘lasting harm’ to McLaughlin.

It was revealed that the defendant is ‘adamant he does not harbour any sexual attraction’ to children. However, probation wish to explore this further.

Judge Philip Babington imposed a probation order for three years.

McLaughlin will also be subject to the notification requirements of the sex offenders register and a sexual offences prevention order for five years.