April 2023

Convicted pervert re-offends

A sexual predator from Northern Ireland who posed as a young girl online to entice children to send him explicit images has been handed a 12-month prison sentence.

Repeat offender Timothy Bates, (47), was ordered to serve half his sentence in jail and half on licence by Judge Patrick Lynch KC at Craigavon Crown Court yesterday

At an earlier hearing Bates, formerly with an address in Bangor, admitted 11 child sex offences committed over a time span between June 2016 and August 2017.

The court heard Bates lost his marriage and his family after being jailed in 2017 over images of child abuse and was later forced to leave his new home in Lisburn by locals

In the latest case, he admitted three counts each of possessing and distributing indecent images of a child and two offences of attempted sexual communication with a child.

The other charges included inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to engage a child in sexual activity.

Prosecuting lawyer Joseph Murphy described how at the time of the 2016 offences, Bates was on police bail after 99 videos and images of children being raped and abused were uncovered on a computer tower.

That case resulted in the father-of-one from Bangor being jailed for five months in February 2017 and the offences dealt with today were uncovered by a police officer checking whether the pervert was abusing a sexual offences prevention order.

Mr Murphy said the officer noticed that parts of the internet history on an iPad were missing and the device was seized for examination.

It uncovered three incident images but also “numerous lengthy chat logs…involving the defendant encouraging girls purporting to be under 16 to engage in sexual activity and send him indecent images.”

The examination also revealed that Bates had been engaging in “conversations with other sex offenders in which indecent images were shared” and it was those which dated back to the time he was on police bail in 2016.

Mr Murphy told the court how a 12-year-old girl was engaged in highly sexualised conversation with the defendant.

The chat logs also revealed how Bates asked another young girl for pictures and swapped multiple indecent images with two other perverts.

Mr Murphy outlined how Bates received an image of a 13-year-old girl but told his fellow creep the girl is “too big for me lol.”

During initial questioning, Bates claimed he had not accessed indecent material since his initial arrest in June 2015 but when confronted with the evidence located on his iPad, he made full admissions, stating: “I was sick and needed more help’.”

Jailing Bates, Judge Lynch said it was clear that far from learning his lesson, he engaged in further activity of an inappropriate type.

Having already lost his marriage and family, the judge revealed that after Bates served his five months in 2017, he moved to Lisburn, managed to get a job and get his life back together but as a result of the latest offences, he lost the job and vigilantes forced him out of his home.

“That’s the sequel of the offences,” said the judge, adding that as well as decreasing the sentence for Bates’ guilty pleas, he also had to factor in the “inexcusable delay” in getting the case to court.

As well as the jail sentence, Judge Lynch also imposed a seven-year sexual offences prevention order which places numerous conditions on Bates such as where he can live, his associations and relationships and what electronic devices he can have.

Bates was also ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for 10 years.