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Child sex 'casting agent' walks free after time served

Michael Dynes after being driven through the gates of Dungannon Crown Court where he appeared for sentencing. Picture by Alan Lewis.

A CO Tyrone man considered by the National Crime Agency as being involved in one of the worst cases "of sexual exploitation of children", has been freed by a judge because of time already served.

Michael Dynes, originally from Dungannon, but now living in a hostel in Ballymena, Co Antrim was also put on the Sex Offenders' register and subjected to a Sex Offences Prevention Order which will monitor him for the next 10 years.

Dungannon Crown Court had heard that 39-year-old Dynes set himself up as a fake casting agent tricking both children and adults to pose for him, and sometimes into preforming lewd sex acts.

The court heard he "auditioned" young people via web-cam after advertising through the Gumtree website for life models.

Dynes would then, "through subterfuge" said the judge, audition his unsuspecting victims by web cam, in some cases while pretending to be a female.

Judge Neil Rafferty QC sentenced Dynes, who has already served the equivalent of a 28-month sentence, to a total of three years and one month.

The judge said instead of returning him back to jail for a "month or two" the public would best be protected if he increased his period of "statutory supervision", allowing him to complete "a tailored" probation run sex offenders' rehabilitation course.

Judge Rafferty told Dynes that he had been a married man, in employment, with a home, but "now all of that is gone solely due to your own criminal behaviour".

Dynes' offending, between 2007, and 2015, ranged from downloading images of child sex abuse, through to voyeurism, to inciting children to perform acts, to fraudulent behaviour, involving four female adult victims.

Judge Rafferty said of his offending that, as the internet continued to impact on the modern world, the law would continue to develop in relation to it, but that he was bound by the current guidelines with regard to sentencing.

However, he also told Dynes that he had received a positive detailed probation report showing his shame and acceptance of his guilt and remorse and when released on bail had shown himself to be "open, honest and transparent with probation about your offending".

In all Dynes pleaded guilt to a total of 41 charges ranging from making and possessing indecent images of children, inciting them, some younger than 13, to engage in a sexual act and four charges of voyeurism.

He was caught following one of the first major investigations in Northern Ireland carried out by the National Crime Agency and the PSNI into child sex exploitation.

The court heard there were more than 1,000 child sex abuse images, which included over 400 "first generation type images".

Some of the images were in the highest category 5, whilst in respect of the voyeurism matters, he was caught on his own recording equipment installing it in a bedroom, which then filmed a female carrying out private acts.

The court heard that a camera was also installed by Dynes in a workplace kitchen, which resulted in "up-skirt" filming.

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