Indecent images “facilitator” escapes jail term

May 19, 2014

A Camlough man who pleaded guilty to sharing over 3,500 sexual images of children has escaped a prison sentence.

John Keenan (29), whose address was given as Princes Street, Lurgan, was given a two year probation order at Newry Crown Court last Wednesday after an almost five year criminal investigation into the supplying of images of boys aged from 8 to 13 years old.  He will also have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.

Keenan was charged with 16 counts of possessing indecent images of children, 25 counts of making indecent photos, possession of a prohibited image of a child and intentionally encouraging/assisting distribution.

During a raid of his Bessbrook home on December 2012, police found the images on his computer and USB pen. Keenan admitted looking at them on a daily basis over the last four to five years.  The images in his possession were deemed to be categories four and five – the most severe- and included beastiality and sadism, along with over 150 videos of sexual nature.

The south Armagh man was described as a “facilitator” who supplied and distributed the images.  The 29 year old was characterised as “socially awkward” with a history of being bullied in school which had made him a recluse who had never been in an intimate sexual relationship.

Judge Kevin Finnegan QC believed Keenan was not a risk to the public at present but would become so if he were to be jailed and suggested he required treatment instead.

Sentencing him to 2 years probation, the judge warned Keenan if he did not adhere to the terms of the probation order, he would go to jail.

No order was put in place for the protection of children however Keenan will remain on the Disclosure and Barred Service (DBS) Barred List of people prohibited from working with children.