A MAN caught with hundreds of incident images for the second time and described as having a deviant sexual interest in children, has been jailed.
William Mullan (39) of Old Rossorry Park, Enniskillen, admitted 14 counts of making indecent images of children and single counts each of possessing a prohibited image and an extreme pornographic image.
When the case first appeared in court last year, Press successfully challenged an application by Mullan’s lawyers to ban reporting his identity in connection with the charges, claiming this would detrimentally impact on a relative’s health.
Dungannon Crown Court heard police searched Mullan’s home on 17 July 2019 during which various electronic devices were seized including two phones. When analysed, these contained 209 Category A images (the most serious), 341 Category B, 568 Category C, as well as one prohibited and one extreme.
During initial police interview Mullan remained silent, but later admitted the devices and images were his.
A prosecuting barrister explained Mullan stated one phone related to, “A chat group which discussed indecent images which he thought it was secure. He denied a sexual interest in children but expressly accepted his criminal conduct.”
It was disclosed Mullan was previously sentenced for similar offending in 2008 when he was given a Probation Order for three years and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).
A defence barrister said his client had shown, “A willingness to face up to his responsibilities and offending, which is rather exceptional.”
Mullan ran a successful business, said the defence but, “Regrettably as a result of his exposure of this offending, particularly in the papers, he has lost various dealerships and trade is down 80 per cent at least.”
Judge Peter Irvine QC referred to a pre-sentence report which assessed Mullan as presenting a medium likelihood of re-offending and noted, “He was given a chance in 2008 through Probation. A SOPO was also imposed for five years. It doesn’t seem to have had any effect on his rehabilitation, because only a short time after it expired, he was engaging in similar activity yet again.”
While this was conceded by the defence, he said, “My client accepts he had an unhealthy interest in this material. He was inquisitive and curious.
“ It is agreed he was given a chance, but clearly hasn’t taken it. While that is so, it was a long time ago and it worked for 10 years …Unfortunately he gravitated back.”
Judge Irvine held offending could not be seen as isolated, but rather ongoing across the dates in question.
Addressing Mullan directly, he said, “You have a deviant sexual interest in children and the previous Probation Order has not deterred you from re-engaging in this activity. This is not a victimless crime. There has to come a point when the court takes a serious view and sends out a deterrent. I am not persuaded this can be dealt with by anything other than custody.”
Mullan was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, placed on the Sex Offender Register for 10 years and made subject to a SOPO for the same duration.
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