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Convicted sex offender walks free from court

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Convicted sex offender walks free from court thumbnailMichael Dynes was freed at Dungannon Crown Court on Friday last.

A SEX offender behind one of the worst child exploitation cases encountered by investigators has walked free from a court in Dungannon.

In one of the first cases in the UK carried out under Operation Jarra by the National Crime Agency, in conjunction with the PSNI into child sexual exploitation, Michael Dynes, originally from Dungannon, was handed a two-year probation order and a custodial element, which has been considered as time served on remand. He was also placed on a Sex Offenders' Register for life.

Dynes (39) whose address was given as a hostel in Ballymena, had initially faced 16 offences, but on committal to trial this increased to 41, with charges dating from 2007 to 2015, many of which are too disturbing to report in detail.

The accused, who appeared in the dock at Dungannon Crown Court on Friday, had pleaded guilty to all charges in January and the case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

Among the litany of horrific charges were nine counts of making indecent images, four counts of possessing indecent images and five counts of voyeurism.

There were two counts each of possessing an extreme pornographic image, engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child aged under 13 years old and the same involving a child aged between 13 and 16.

In addition there were are four counts of fraud by false representation in which Dynes posed as a casting agent seeking a professional model with the intention to make a gain for himself and loss to another.

There were four victims in the voyeurism charges, all of whom were adult females. These matters related to recording for the purposes of sexual gratification, on various dates from 2009 to 2012.

Concerning the 16 charges involving child victims, their identity remains a mystery and were simply referred to on court papers as "an unknown child".

Of these, six counts relate to victims aged under 13 and the remainder are aged under 16. It is not known how many individual children these relate to.

A prosecution lawyer told the court Dynes' home was searched and computers and recording devices were seized. These were examined forensically and recovered multiple images of children along with others depicting extreme pornography and bestiality.

At total of 1,133 indecent images were found covering all categories 1-5, of which 5 is the most serious.

This was broken down as 557 in Category 1; 169 in Category 2; 283 in Category 3; 112 in Category 4 and 12 in Category 5.

In respect pf the voyeurism matters, the court heard Dynes was caught on his own recording equipment whilst installing it in a bedroom, which then filmed a female carrying out private acts.

A camera was also installed by Dynes in a workplace kitchen, which resulted in "up-skirt" filming.

Whilst Dynes posed as a casting agent seeking models in some of the charges, he also pretended to be a female when using online internet chat rooms - activity His Honour Judge Neil Rafferty QC branded "subterfuge."

Some Images were taken from websites, but others "were procured by Dynes through online activity."

Defence counsel accepted from the outset the case was very difficult, but pointed out his client served some 14 months on remand whilst awaiting trial.

He said: "The defendant has lost everything - his family, his wife, his job and respect. All have gone and that is his fault. He cannot get any lower."

Defence continued: "My client has shown genuine remorse and shame. He made a clean breast and bared is soul to Probation staff for the preparation of the pre-sentence report. He did not minimise or detract from the offences. He needs supervision and intervention. He has not been assessed as dangerous.. There is a chance to stop this ever happening again."

Handing down the sentence Judge Rafferty told Dynes:, "I want to make it clear the images of children were real children who live and breath and who have been sexually abused. No-one should be in any doubt the market for this would not exist if it were not for people like you. No-one who does this can distance themselves from this conduct for self-satisfaction."

Judge Rafferty referred to a "helpful pre-sentence report" and ruled he was not regarding Dynes as dangerous.

He said the mitigating factors were Dynes' guilty pleas at arraignment and the fact he had spent almost 14 months remanded in custody.

While the judge stated Dynes had not sought bail, this was in fact incorrect as bail was applied for several times and refused at both Magistrate's and High Court.

Nonetheless, Jude Rafferty said he would have been considering custody of around three years and with the 50 per cent remission in Northern Ireland, that time had been served.

He said there was nothing to be gained in jailing Dynes for a further few months.

He stated: "I have to ask, does it better protect the public to return you to prison for another month or two when you could be undergoing a treatment programme?"

Instead Judge Rafferty ordered Dynes to spend two years on probation, taking part in an intensive treatment programme for sexual offenders.

He warned any breach would result in immediate imprisonment.

In addition, Dynes has been placed under a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 10 years.

When the case first came to court two years ago, a NCA officer described the matter as "one of the most serious cases of sexual exploitation of children encountered by the agency".

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