Northern Ireland news

Man who admitted making and possessing indecent images of children is placed on three years probation

Eamonn Keenan who has been placed on three years' probation. Picture by Alan Lewis

A 56-year-old Belfast man suffering from a 'myriad of significant medical issues' who admitted making and possessing indecent images of children has been placed on three years probation "as the best way to protect society".

Freeing Eamonn Keenan, who carries around his own supply of oxygen, Judge Stephen Fowler QC said he had "come to the view that this is a somewhat exceptional case", given the small number of images involved, the former docker's medical problems and his "recognition of the damage he has done".

Keenan, from Carlisle Square, who pleaded guilty to seven charges of making, and two of possession of indecent images of children, had also shown genuine remorse, said Judge Fowler. Keenan, he added, had expressed his shame and his wish he had never got involved in such activities.

Judge Fowler said Keenan, in addition to his early pleas, had shown some level of insight into his offending which he had described as being, "totally wrong".

Prosecution lawyer David McNeill had previously told Belfast Crown Court, that the offences dated back to between November 2011 and May the following year. The indecent images said counsel, totalling 17, included video clips in the most serious categories A and B.

Mr McNeill said in addition to the images found on a laptop computer seized along with a number of other devices in February 2016, chatroom messages were also uncovered in which Keenan, pretended to be aged 19 talking to children aged 14 to 16.

However, the internet account had been inactive for four or five years and in a prepared statement Keenan said he could not remember his internet activity.

Defence barrister Barry Gibson, who submitted a number of 'very comprehensive' medical and other reports, said Keenan had expressed his "regret and his personal disgust at accessing these images" and for which he is "extremely embarrassed".

Keenan he added, had never gone looking for such images, but had "strayed" into them, while looking at adult pornography. Mr Gibson said Keenan was suffering from "chronic ill health" and was awaiting results, and to undergo even more tests for a number of medical conditions.


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