A pensioner caught with more than 2,000 indecent images of children on various devices including a mobile phone and laptop has been given three years’ probation, a court in Belfast has heard..
The offending carried out by Stanley Craig (68), originally from Portrush, came to light after he dropped his mobile phone in to be repaired at a shop in Belfast.
Prosecutor Amanda Brady revealed that police called to Craig’s home in Belfast on 24 August, 2012 under warrant “looking for items connected with the possession of indecent images of children.”
A number of items were seized including a laptop and memory card and after they were analysed, it emerged that Craig had over 2,000 images of children.
The Crown Court heard the images included stills and videos, and that a total of 335 were in the serious ‘Level Four’ category.
On his arrest Craig - who has since moved to Abercorn Court in Portrush - admitted viewing indecent images of children “on an almost daily basis” via his mobile and laptop.
Defence barrister Gavin Cairns said his client had lived a “lonely and isolated existence” in adulthood due to “difficulties in his childhood”, but said he had displayed a good work ethic.
Telling Judge David McFarland that Craig admitted his guilt almost immediately and had co-operated fully with probation, Mr Cairns said that due to his client’s “own conduct”, Craig “had to uproot himself from the locale where he lived for most of his life and now lives 60 to 70 miles away”.
This, the barrister said, added to his “gross isolation.”
Judge McFarland told Craig that while he acknowledged he was not involved in making or creating the images, it was “not a victimless crime” as the children involved “lived an appalling existence”.
The pensioner subsequently pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children, and one count of possession of a prohibited image of a child, on dates between 1 August, 2011 and 25 August, 2012.