A FORMER ‘teacher of computer science’ who claimed he didn’t know much about technology and couldn’t explain how indecent images of children were on his electronic devices has been convicted and given a suspended jail term.
John Graham (70), of Seacon Road in Ballymoney, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court for sentencing in relation to two charges of making Category C indecent images of children on dates in April and May, 2015.
He had previously pleaded not guilty but was convicted of the two charges following a contest.
His defence barrister said the defendant maintains his innocence.
A prosecutor said that as a result of information received a search was carried out and electronic items including a mobile phone and computer were examined which contained 19 Category C images of children as well as search terms involving children.
The prosecutor said that when interviewed the defendant denied knowledge of the images and said a number of other people had access to the devices.
He also made reference to a “young male friend” called ‘John’ who he believed could have been responsible but he didn’t provide his surname or how to get in touch with him or how he met him.
Graham claimed he would have met ‘John’ “one or two evenings a week”.
The prosecutor said the defendant claimed he didn’t know much about computers, however the court was told, Graham had previously been a “teacher of computer science”.
A defence lawyer said the defendant had been acquitted of the vast majority of charges he had faced including possession of indecent images of children and an extreme image and “maintains his innocence”.
He said Graham was assessed as a “low likelihood” of re-offending.
District Judge Peter King handed down a four months jail term, suspended for two years and ordered that Graham’s name goes on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years and there is also a five year long Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
As part of that Order the defendant is not allowed to use computers, mobile phones or devices with internet access and is not to access social network sites unless approved by a Designated Risk Manager (DRM).
Graham is also not to undertake any activity in paid, private or voluntary or charitable capacity which affords access to children or young persons, unless approved by his DRM.
The defendant is also not to have unsupervised access, association, contact or communication with children under 16 unless approved by the DRM and Social Services save for everyday inadvertent and unavoidable contact.
He is also not to enter into any relationship ‘either intimate or casual without prior disclosure to his DRM to allow any necessary safeguarding to take place’.