Child pornography offender seeks to keep identity secret

Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 00:00

A man jailed for child pornography offences is at severe risk of suicide if he is named publicly, the High Court in Belfast has heard. As he sought to ban the media from revealing his identity, a judge was told the level of threat had been assessed as “immense”.

A lawyer for a court reporter defending the proceedings warned of the potential consequences for open justice.

Convicted paedophiles and murderers could also try to stop their details being disclosed if anonymity was granted, the defence claimed.

The case was taken by a Northern Ireland man jailed in December for offences involving child pornography and blackmail. He secured a temporary injunction at the time after some reporting restrictions were lifted at the conclusion of the case.

The man, identified only as ZY, is now seeking an order restraining any publication of his identity permanently. His legal team argued that a real and immediate risk to his article 2 right to life under European law had been established.

Following submissions, Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey adjourned the hearing until tomorrow.