February 2011

Man distributed naked picture of teenage girl

A COLERAINE man has been put on the sex offenders’ register for seven years for distributing an indecent image of his brother’s girlfriend.

Unemployed David John Gibson (25) downloaded the photograph from his mobile phone and passed them to a third party.

He appeared at North Antrim Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with nine counts of possession of indecent images and further counts of making an indecent photograph and distributing indecent photographs.

He denied displaying one of the pictures inside a phone box in Coleraine town centre.

Court heard that the 25-year-old, from Lisnablagh Road, Harpur’s Hill, came to the the attention of police after he downloaded a picture of a naked female at a kiosk in Boots in Coleraine on March 31, last year.

Staff at the shop alerted police to the defendant’s actions and noted that he had put one of the pictures up inside a phone box outside the store.

The photograph was a full length shot of a female, who was just 16 at the time, naked from the waist down with her top pulled up showing her breasts.

When arrested by police the following day, Gibson said: “I am getting arrested as my brother sent me a naked picture.” He told police during interview that his brother had asked him to download the images for him, but denied putting the photograph up inside the phone box.

Police seized a number of mobile phones which were found to contain five indecent images and four indecent videos. The defendant’s brother was interviewed as part of the police investigation.

He confirmed that the girl in the photographs was his girlfriend, who agreed to having them taken. He also claimed that the defendant had taken his phone whilst he was asleep and had transferred the images to his phone via bluetooth.

During interview, the injured party confirmed to police that she had consented to having the pictures taken.

In December Gibson was interviewed again by police and admitted giving the photographs to a third party.

Barrister Michael Smyth said that Gibson had declined an assessment by a physiologist to determine if he was suitable for a probation order. He asked the District Judge Richard Wilson to give

Gibson credit for his early guilty plea. The District Judge described the charges as ‘serious matters’. He sentenced Gibson to five months imprisonment, suspended for five years.

A destruction order was also sought for the mobile phones and the images. Gibson was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

In a separate matter, Gibson was given a community service order of 240 hours, for being in breach of a non-molestation order, a occupation order and for possession of a blade. Court heard that the charges related to an incident at his mother’s home at Oakvale Park in Coleraine on November 13 last year.

The defendant entered the house and took a knife from the kitchen, despite there being an order in place to keep him out of his mother’s home.

Police were called by Gibson’s mother, who told them about her son’s actions. A short time later the Gibson was spoken to.

He told police that he had disgarded the knife down a drain at Millburn. Police searches located the knife, which was seven inches long, with a three inch blade.

Gibson’s barrister, Michael Smyth said that the incident occurred after the defendant had fallen out with his girlfriend.

Sentencing Gibson, District Judge Wilson warned him to stay away from his mother’s home, and ordered him to carry out 240 hours community service.