Man admits possessing videos of young children being sexually abused

Philip Burns.
Philip Burns.

A Lisburn man set a Northern Ireland legal first today (Thursday) when he confessed to having videos of children being sexually abused.

Standing in the dock at Craigavon Crown Court, 27-year-old Philip Burns pleaded guilty to 14 specimen counts of making indecent images of children and five further charges of having extreme pornography on dates between 4 July 2014 and 22 February last year.

What sets his case apart however is that Burns is not accused of having any still indecent images or photographs but rather video files - an Northern Ireland legal first.

Many of the titles are too graphic to repeat - some describe the rape of four and five-year-old children - leading the court clerk to use the short form of the charges, simply putting to Burns that he had “video files.”

His defence barrister confirmed to Judge Patrick Lynch QC that the defendant understood what he had pleaded guilty to and also agreed that a “pre-sentence report will be required.”

Prosecuting lawyer Joseph Murphy said Burns, from Woodbrook Avenue, would have to sign the police sex offenders register given his pleas and releasing the internet pervert on bail, Judge Lynch told him that would have to be done before he left the building.

Ordering him to come back on May 5 for sentencing, the judge advised Burns to “co-operate fully” with probation when they come to write their report as “it’s in your own interests.”