A Craigavon man who was caught with “a very modest amount” of explicit child sex imagery has been told he must undertake 100 hours of community service.
Dale Wiseman, of Parkmore, was caught in possession of almost 250 images across two devices, accrued over a 10-year period.
At Craigavon Crown Court on Monday the 49-year-old was also given three years’ probation and handed a five-year Sexual Offences Preventions Order (SOPO).
The court heard how the prosecution stemmed from the police examination of a laptop and computer tower, which were seized during a search of Wiseman’s home on November 7, 2018.
Her Honour Roseanne McCormick QC, outlining her reasons for the sentence, said that Wiseman took responsibility for the images which were found on the items seized from his flat, and “he made no effort to deflect blame or responsibility onto any other person”.
The material which was found on the laptop and computer tower totalled 246 images, eight of which were Category A images.
Judge McCormick added: “I accept that the amount of material, which is the subject of this prosecution is much lower than that which is often encountered by the court in these types of cases. And in similar vein, the proportion of Category A material is, again, much less than that which is usually encountered.
“I am told and they acknowledge that no extreme or prohibited images were retrieved in the course of the examination. This is a case, therefore, which entails a very modest amount of imagery, which was obtained over a very long period of time.”
Judge McCormick alluded to the fact that there was no evidence Wiseman had made any attempt to share the images.
“Clearly, the way in which this man has met the case, is an attitude which must be marked in the sentence which will be passed, and it also signifies remorse and insight into his offending,” he said.
“The passage of time, from the detection through to arraignment, and now plea and sentence, has actually of itself enabled him an opportunity to explore his offending with professional persons.
“And in that curious way, the passage of time, falls to benefit this defendant. After his police interview, he contacted the Lucy Faithful Foundation.
“I accept that this defendant is aware of the harmful effects now of his offending against the victims, who were captured in the imagery, which he had in his two devices. And I also accept that he is consumed with guilt for what he has done.”
Judge McCormick praised Wiseman’s steady employment history but noted that since charges came to light, the defendant had been on long-term sick.
“The court has a very clear view of the impact on this man of his own offending,” she said.
“However, his offending has impacted on children whose innocence and vulnerability was and is exploited for the gratification of people like the defendant. But unlike this defendant who has had the opportunity to have his circumstances open fully to the court, the victims of these image offences rarely get an opportunity for the impact upon them to be known and communicated to the court.”
As part of his sentence Wiseman must not, over the course of his SOPO, delete his internet browsing history and any personal use mobile SIM card or device, capable of accessing the internet, must first be registered with his designated risk manager.