Viewed indecent images of children

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A judge has said he will not send a convicted sex offender who admitted child porn offences back to prison.

Christopher Martin McGuinness, whose address was given as Ventry Lane, Belfast, pleaded guilty to a total of 37 indecent images charges.

They include making an indecent photo of a child, possessing extreme pornographic images and possessing prohibited images of children.

The offences were committed between May 27, 2011 and May 5, 2012.

Derry Crown Court heard the 48-year-old was arrested for sex offences and police searched his Greysteel home.

They seized a number of items during the search, including DVD’s and computers.

The items were examined and a laptop was found to contain 222 indecent images of children, ranging from the least serious category to the most serious.

There were also 28 extreme pornographic images depicting bestiality and 13 prohibited images.

A defence barrister told the court his client is currently on licence,is engaging with probation and is due to take part in a treatment programme for sex offenders.

He said if a further jail sentence was imposed there would not be enough time for McGuinness to complete this programme.

Adjourning sentencing until next week, Judge Phillip Babington said ‘I will not be sending him back to prison’.

He added that it ‘would be wrong’ for the court to upset the treatment McGuinness is receiving as it is designed to protect the public.