By Maria McCann
Two men jailed today had a total of more than 20 thousand child sexual abuse images on their computers.
64 year old Michael Gordon and Philip Burns who is 27 were both arrested in February 2016.
The pair are not believed to have known each other.
Mr Burns from Lisburn has been sentenced to 15 months behind bars while Mr Gordon from Belfast was given a 12 months prison sentence suspended for three years
NCA forensic examiners found a cache of almost 10,000 images of child abuse and bestiality on Burns’s computers.
He was convicted of 14 counts of making indecent images of children and four counts of possessing extreme pornography at Craigavon Crown Court in March this year.
At the same court today he was sentenced 15 months’ imprisonment, a ten-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) and banned from seeking employment which involves working with children.
Gordon, appearing at Belfast Crown Court, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for three years, and made subject to a SOPO to run for ten years.
After his arrest he admitted to NCA officers he had encountered child abuse images online but claimed it was always by accident when searching for legal pornography.
He told NCA officers they would not find images of child abuse on his computers, adding: “It’s not what I go looking for.”
But NCA officers’ forensic examination of Gordon’s computers found almost 11,000 abuse images, many in the most serious category.
They also found extreme pornographic images including depictions of bestiality.
Gordon was convicted on 21 April this year at Belfast Crown Court of 14 counts of making indecent images of children, five counts of possessing prohibited images of children and five counts of possessing extreme pornography.
NCA branch commander Rob Burgess said: ““Each time an offender looks at one of these images the child in it is re-victimised.
“We continue to work with the PSNI to detect child abuse, protect victims and bring offenders to justice.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said; “Gordon and Burns separately accumulated an unthinkable number of images of child abuse and it is right that they have faced the consequences of their actions. Every single one of these images is a record of a crime scene and the children abused to make them may still be in danger now.
“The creation and distribution of indecent images is an appalling industry that destroys childhoods and the war on it is only just beginning.
“The NSPCC is calling for technology companies to commit expertise and take action to prevent this sickening material being published.”
Anyone concerned about a child or young person who may be suffering abuse can call the NSPCC Helpline 24/7 for advice on 0808 800 5000.