A man addicted to child pornography, who admitted having sex with the family dog and fantasising about his own children, was jailed for ten months today.
After serving the jail term, Newry Crown Court Judge Kevin Finnegan QC ordered 43-year-old Garth Michael Williams to spend two years on supervised licence conditions, “in order to make progress with his longstanding problems and addictions for an addiction it must be.”
Last month the married civil engineer, originally from South Africa but who was living at Mill Road, Ballyroney in Banbridge at the time, pleaded guilty to a total of 31 offences, including two counts of allowing himself to be penetrated by a living animal on a date unknown between 1 February 2009 and 4 April last year.
In addition Williams, who appeared in the dock wearing a grey suit, pleaded guilty to 10 charges of distributing indecent images of children, 17 counts of possessing or making indecent images of children and two further charges of possessing extreme pornography, all of which occurred on various dates between 10 October 2011 and 4 April 2014.
On Thursday prosecuting barrister Michael Chambers revealed that on the day he was arrested, Williams - who has an address at Station Road in Portstewart - tried to take his own life before turning himself into police.
The lawyer described how police went to his then work place and removed computers and other material but concerned staff contacted the manager to say the officers were looking for Williams.
The manager happened to be with Williams at the time and he agreed to meet the officers but police and staff “became concerned when the defendant failed to appear.”
The officers went to his home and explained to his “upset and concerned wife” why they were looking for husband.
“She got a text from him to say that he was in big trouble with the police as he had downloaded child pornography on his old laptop at work,” said Mr Chambers, adding that Williams told detectives he would meet them at Banbridge station.
When he arrived however, Williams’ clothes were dishevelled, he was caked in mud and officers noted “scratch” marks on each of his wrists with Williams explaining there was a rope and Stanley knife in his car as he had tried to take his own life.
Arrested and interviewed Williams “made full and frank confessions to police” that he had been looking at indecent images of children since the year 2000.
Mr Chambers told the court how Williams further confessed that his “preference was for male children, seven and younger, including babies,” that he had both viewed and distributed around 1,000 images on his computers at work and at home and had “engaged in erotic conversations about child abuse and fantasised about sexually abusing his own children.”
“He also admitted to police that he had allowed the family dog to penetrate him and further that he performed a sex act on his dog which he had filmed and posted on the internet,” recounted the lawyer.
Of the images uncovered, amounting to just over 100 not withstanding Williams confessions about engaging in pornography for the last 15 years, Mr Chambers said the large majority were in categories one and two, the least offensive while there were 28 still and moving images at levels four and five which, according to legal guidelines, depict penetrative sexual acts involving children, often with aspects of sadomasochism.
Defence lawyer Eugene McKenna said many of the offences came about as a direct result of Williams’ own confessions, adding that he had shown “insight and remorse” for his actions.
The lawyer said Williams had already paid a price in that his marriage was over and “his career is effectively in tatters.”
Jailing Williams, who will remain on the police sex offenders register for an indefinite period, Judge Finnegan said he was giving him credit for his guilty plea, full confessions and previously clear criminal record.
As well as the jail term, the judge barred Williams from working with children and also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, prohibiting him from having unsupervised contact with children and from using computers which do not have monitoring software.