November 2006


A DEVOUT Christian and music teacher with a sexual interest in young boys has been spared jail.

Judge John Evans told Daniel Devlin he deserved to be locked up after child pornography was found on his computer.

But the judge said immediate prison would mean Devlin – who was living in South Shields and formerly Seaham – was unlikely to receive the sex offender treatment “he so clearly needs”.

Police were alerted to Devlin’s activities by a call to the Crimestoppers crime prevention line.

“Officers raided the defendant’s home in Dene Way, Sea-ham,” prosecutor Sean Dodds told Durham Crown Court.

Mr Dodds said: “Devlin told police the stuff they were looking for was on a computer.

“Another computer was found upstairs and on its hard drive were a large number of indecent images of mostly pre-pubescent boys.”

Devlin, 53, admitted 13 charges of making indecent photographs of children and one charge of possessing 2,087 images.

He has a previous conviction for indecently assaulting a child in 1976, and for attempted burglary of a chemist in a failed bid to retrieve some pornographic negatives he had left for processing.

There was fury last month after it was revealed Devlin had been staying at accommodation in St Oswin’s Street, South Shields, belonging to the Diocese of Durham.

There was anger among families, who were not aware Devlin was staying at the church-owned house, and he moved out shortly after.

Alec Burns, mitigating, said: “There has been some immediate retribution for his latest offences.

“I don’t seek to blame the Press, but he was hounded out of his address after it was published.

“He has given up his home in Seaham and is now living in a monastery in Yorkshire.”

Judge Evans sentenced Devlin to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to attend the probation service’s sex offender treatment programme.

The judge banned him from unsupervised contact with children for life.

Devlin must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.