Northern Ireland news

Man accused of having indecent photograph of child kept a "decoy" phone to avoid detection, court told

Christopher Moreland (49), of Brookhill Avenue, appeared at Belfast Magistrates CourtLaganside Court in Belfast

A Belfast man accused of having an indecent photograph of a child allegedly kept a "decoy" phone to avoid detection, a court has heard.

Police claimed Christopher Moreland used secret devices to view and distribute banned images.

He was also said to have told officers that he is addicted to looking at photos of children.

Moreland (49), of Brookhill Avenue, appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court after being arrested on Thursday.

He is charged with breaching a sexual offences prevention order by having electronic equipment at his flat.

Moreland faces two further counts of possessing and distributing an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child.

Opposing his bail application, a PSNI officer detailed disclosures he allegedly made in custody.

"Mr Moreland said he cannot stop... and stated that viewing indecent images of children is an addiction," she disclosed.

During interviews he stated that he showed his designated risk manager a decoy phone and iPad which were not used to access any illegal material, the court heard.

The officer contended: "(There are) three other devices he has in secret, all three were used to view and distribute indecent images of children."

Defence solicitor Norman Shannon insisted Moreland had provided information and fully cooperated with police.

"He does not wish to make his situation worse by committing any further offences, and he says that he will not purchase any further devices despite his difficulties," the lawyer said.

"He realises he is in a very serious situation."

Moreland was remanded in custody to appear in court again in four weeks.

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