5 May 2017
Two men jailed today had a total of more than 20,000 child sexual abuse images on their computers.
National Crime Agency officers arrested Michael Gordon, 64, of Belfast and Philip Burns, 27, of Lisburn, in February 2016 as part of a wider joint investigation with the PSNI.
The two men are not believed to have known each other.
NCA forensic examiners found a cache of almost 10,000 images of child abuse and bestiality on Burns’s computers.
He was convicted of 14 counts of making indecent images of children and four counts of possessing extreme pornography at Craigavon Crown Court in March.
At the same court today he was sentenced 15 months’ imprisonment, a ten-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) and banned from seeking employment which involves working with children.
Gordon, appearing at Belfast Crown Court, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for three years and made subject to a SOPO to run for ten years.
In his interview by NCA officers he admitted encountering child abuse images online but claimed it was always by accident when searching for legal pornography.
He told NCA officers they would not find images of child abuse on his computers, adding: “It’s not what I go looking for.”
But NCA officers’ forensic examination of Gordon’s computers found almost 11,000 abuse images, many in the most serious category.
They also found extreme pornographic images including depictions of bestiality.
Gordon was convicted on 21 April at Belfast Crown Court of 14 counts of making indecent images of children, five counts of possessing prohibited images of children and five counts of possessing extreme pornography.
NCA branch commander Rob Burgess said: ““Each time an offender looks at one of these images the child in it is re-victimised.
“We continue to work with the PSNI to detect child abuse, protect victims and bring offenders to justice.”