Antrim man gets 21-month sentence for child porn offences

Pictures of local children in school uniforms downloaded from Facebook also found

A Co Antrim man who was “obsessed” with his collection of child porn, which amounted to over 7,000 indecent images, was handed a 21-month sentence

A Co Antrim man who was “obsessed” with his collection of child porn, which amounted to over 7,000 indecent images, was handed a 21-month sentence

 

A Co Antrim man who was “obsessed” with his collection of child porn, which amounted to over 7,000 indecent images, was on Friday handed a 21-month sentence.

Kristoffer Noel John Coulter (28) from Mill River Mews in Ballyclare was told he will spend nine months of the sentence in prison, with the remaining 12 months on supervised licence upon his release, after he admitted a total of 21 charges including making indecent images of children and possessing prohibited images of children.

Despite not being part of the Crown case against him, Coulter was told by Judge Gordon Kerr QC that he found it “disturbing” that scores of images of local children in their school uniforms which were downloaded from Facebook were also found on Coulter’s computer.

At a hearing held at Belfast Crown Court this week, it emerged that Coulter – a former employee of the Belfast Trust – had stored over 7,000 indecent pictures and films of children in a “sophisticated” manner in his computer.

Just over 100 of the downloaded images were of the most serious category, whilst one of the videos featured a baby.

Judge Kerr spoke of the “physical harm and total degradation of young children” depicted in the images and films, which he said “cannot be tolerated in society.”

The court heard that last June, Coulter’s home was searched by police after information was received about indecent images. The court heard Coulter realised why the police called to his home and he “admitted immediately they were looking for him”.

Coulter’s computer was seized and examined and he was interviewed on October 15th last year. Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins said picture files and videos were located on a folder on the computer, which had been placed into sub-folders according to characteristics such as the age and gender of the youngsters.

Saying Coulter had categorised the images on his computer in a “sophisticated way”, Mr Jenkins revealed that the children in some of the images were young babies. The prosecutor added: “The way in which the images were stored suggests a high level of personal interest in the images themselves.”

Coulter – who came before the court with no previous convictions – admitted all 21 charges against him.

Defence barrister Paul Bacon acknowledged the case against his client was “very serious” and accepted it was one that “attracts revulsion.”

Telling the court Coulter accepted he had an “unhealthy sexual interest in pornography of this type”, Mr Bacon also revealed Coulter was bullied at school which had a “significant impact on his life”.

Mr Bacon added that when Coulter’s offending came to light he was sacked from his employment with the Belfast Trust which resulted in him seeking solace in alcohol and prescription medication and that his “life now lies in ruins.”

Judge Kerr spoke of the way Coulter had “deliberately set out to download this pornography”, adding Coulter “almost became addicted to this type of material” and that he was “obsessed by his collection.”

As well as being jailed, Coulter was also made the subject of a seven-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). Judge Kerr also recommended that Coulter receives “some form of treatment that will assist him with sexual offending in the future.”

Passing sentence, the Judge concluded “I have no option but to impose an immediate custodial sentence in relation to these offences.”