Northern Ireland news

Man (48) 'addicted' to accessing indecent images of children sentenced to two years on probation

Stevan Edouard (48), of Willowbank Gardens, was sentenced to two years on probation

A MAN living in north Belfast told police he was "addicted'' to accessing indecent images of children, a court heard.

Stevan Edouard (48), of Willowbank Gardens, was sentenced to two years on probation in an effort to help him to deal with his offending.

He had previously pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to three charges of making indecent images of children.

It was the prosecution case that on May 16, 2017, police conducted a planned search of his home under warrant to recover indecent images of children.

Edouard was not at home at the time and police went to his workplace to speak to him. He immediately accepted responsibility for the indecent images on his laptop.

The French national told police: "I am addicted to it. It's like a drug. I can't stop looking".

At police interview, he admitted the offences, saying he had been committing the offences for the past five years. His laptop was examined and was found to contain 738 indecent pictures and videos, with 243 in the most serious category.

Mr Justice Fowler said Edouard was a single man who had been living in Northern Ireland for the past 13 years.

"He is in full-time employment but he is likely to lose that because of his offending,'' said the Belfast Recorder.

The Probation Service said in a report that although Edouard had victim insight into his offending, it believed he needed to undertake work "regarding his deviant sexual fantasies''.

Mr Justice Fowler said supervision in the community by the defendant on a sex offender's programme would benefit the community in the long term.

Edouard was also placed on the sex offenders' register for five years.

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Northern Ireland news