Update: Now living in Banbridge
Ex-police worker caught downloading child-abuse images
A former civilian police employee was caught after secretly downloading child abuse images at home, a court heard.
Justin McNeill (33) was also an army reserve officer dealing with cadets since 1999 and working for the charity, Action For Blind People, when he was arrested.
He had formerly worked for Leicestershire Police and the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
Leicester Crown Court was told earlier this week that he accessed indecent images, and video clips of youngsters being sexually abused, which were found on two laptops and a memory stick.
His barrister, Tim Pole, told Judge Michael Pert QC: “All he’s worked for has gone, he’s lost a great deal.”
McNeill, formerly of Heyworth Road, Rowley Fields, Leicester, has also split up with his long-term partner since his offending came to light.
He has now moved to Northern Ireland to live with his parents, in County Down.
He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possessing indecent images of youngster, mainly of girls aged between six and 14-years.
McNeill was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with a requirement to attend a sex offender group work programme.
The offences related to indecent pictures and video clips, comprising of 185 images at level one, 60 images at level two, 86 images at level three, 103 images at level four and five images in the most serious category, level five.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC said a video in the most serious category from McNeill’s laptop showed and adult having sex with “a tiny child who was whimpering in pain.” He said: “People should be under no illusion about the sort of material we are dealing with.”
He said he was taking a merciful course in society’s best interests so McNeill could undergo an intensive course to protect the public.
Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said on January 25 this year, a warrant was executed at his Leicester home and computer equipment seized.
In interview, McNeill openly confessed saying he downloaded the material after becoming “curious” and had viewed such images for about two years.
He has since voluntarily attended the Lucy Faithful Course in an effort to rehabilitate himself, the court was told.
McNeill, who has no previous convictions and was a civilian worker for Leicestershire Police, was placed on a 10-year sexual offences prevention order.