Teenager admits tricking boys into sending him indecent photos

Co Down teenager admits total of 48 charges between 2014 and 2016

Prosecution lawyer Simon Jenkins said when officers arrived at his home, Mounsey admitted it was him they were looking for, and handed over his mobile phone, laptop computer and two USB sticks

Prosecution lawyer Simon Jenkins said when officers arrived at his home, Mounsey admitted it was him they were looking for, and handed over his mobile phone, laptop computer and two USB sticks

 

A Co Down teenager who tricked schoolboys into sending him indecent pictures of themselves is to be sentenced on Thursday.

Judge Geoffrey Miller told Owen Mounsey (18) he had hoped to pass sentence on Wednesday, but that he “required a little time to reflect” on his case.

Earlier the judge heard that Mounsey, from Station Road, Holywood, later shared some of the pictures, in various states of undress, with a man online who had tutored him how to get others to pose for him.

Mounsey admitted a total of 48 charges between 2014 and 2016 when he was arrested at his home following a joint investigation by the National Crime Agency and PSNI.

Prosecution lawyer Simon Jenkins said when officers arrived at his home Mounsey admitted it was him they were looking for, and handed over his mobile phone, laptop computer and two USB sticks.

However, while he initially made a “no comment” interview, he later asked to speak to detectives again, telling them he first saw such images in chat rooms when he was 16, before later trolling the “dark web” himself for other images.

Mr Jenkins further revealed that Mounsey had tricked the others, aged 11 to 12, to send him images of themselves in various states of undress with promises of video game credits, and continued to do so even when on police bail.

The teenager also accepted that while he downloaded hundreds of images of child sex abuse, he had also “inadvertently” downloaded what Judge Miller described as “insidious and evil” manuals on how to “ingratiate” yourself with children and sexually abuse them.

Most serious category

Mr Jenkins added that of the total of 954 images, including 54 videos, recovered from the various devices, almost a third were in the most serious category A, one of which showed a boy aged four or five being abused.

The lawyer said the aggravating features of the case were Mounsey’s targeting of other youngsters, distributing some of the material he was given, and continuing to view images even while on police bail.

Defence counsel Barry Gibson said that while Mounsey fell to be dealt with as an adult, what occurred took place when he was still a youth, aged 14 to 17, and at a time he was confused about his gender.

Mr Gibson said the teenager made no threats to others, and immediately accepted his guilt.

He added that a number of reports, both psychiatric and probation, indicated that since then “this has been a difficult journey for him, but he has come out a better person for it”.