Jail warning to Belfast serial offender Flynn over child sex abuse images
A 62-year-old man has been told that if he accesses images on the internet of children being sexually abused again he will be sent to prison.
John Flynn, from University Street in Belfast, who appeared before Belfast Crown Court with 78 previous convictions, admitted two counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo) and 14 counts of possessing an indecent image of a child.
He was handed a two-year prison sentence that was suspended for three years by Judge Geoffrey Miller.
Urging Flynn to continue engaging with agencies and attending courses designed to address his offending, Judge Miller told him: “You are an intelligent man who knows what your issues are and you know how to address them.
“This is your final opportunity to address these issues.”
A Crown prosecutor explained the Sopo was initially imposed in November 2011, banning Flynn from deleting his internet usage history and from owning or using a mobile phone that had internet access without the approval of a designated risk manager (DRM).
In January 2016, police discovered a laptop at Flynn’s address but were unable to find an internet access history. They later uncovered a total of 15 indecent images of children on the device and searches which were “indicative of an interest in children or images of child abuse”.
In June last year, officers seized a mobile phone and tablet during another random check at Flynn’s home.
When he was arrested, Flynn admitted he should have informed his DRM about the devices. He initially denied accessing child sexual abuse images and instead claimed the images had popped up when he was searching for adult porn.
A defence lawyer said Flynn’s offending has “greatly dissipated”, especially since he is “well monitored and regulated”.
He told the court Flynn has experienced the loss of his family due to the nature of his offending, but pointed out he is currently engaged with agencies and “has sought help from church groups”.
Passing sentence, Judge Miller said Flynn appeared in court with “no excuse for not appreciating the consequences of his actions” and appeared to display a “sexual entitlement attitude”.
The judge also noted the “serious abuse” of the children in the images, adding the “pain, discomfort and fear suffered by the children” was for the “perverted pleasure” of those looking at the material.
Handing Flynn the two-year sentence suspended for three years, Judge Miller warned him that if he offends within that time, he would be sent to prison.
Indecent images of children found on man’s computer
Forensic examination of a registered sex offender’s computer revealed indecent images of children in the most serious category, the High Court heard on Wednesday.
Search terms identified on John Flynn’s laptop included references to rape victims and naked teenage Africans, prosecutors said.
It was also revealed that the 61-year-old Belfast man has recently wed a 26-year-old Nigerian woman, travelling 14 times to the continent in the past three years.
Flynn, of Ardenvohr Street, faces charges of possessing indecent images and breaching a Sexual Offenders’ Prevention Order (SOPO).
He was granted bail on strict conditions, including an order to surrender any passports. Under the terms of the SOPO Flynn’s internet use must be accessible for police inspection.
But Crown lawyer Kate McKay said no browsing history was available when officers called to check his computer in January last year. His laptop was seized and examined by experts, who reported back on the contents last month.
According to Mrs McKay six of the most serious, Category A indecent images were found on the device, along with five Category B and four Category C.
Flynn was arrested last week, when several other devices was also taken examination.
“He denied downloading the indecent images, but said he used the search terms,”
Mrs McKay added. She set out a list of the type of material allegedly being sought online. Opposing bail, the prosecutor said police have “major concerns” about Flynn.
“It doesn’t seem anything is going to stop him trying to look at these images,” she contended.
Granting bail, Madam Justice McBride ordered that the accused must seek to register with either Sex Addicts Anonymous or a charity working to prevent child sexual abuse.