July 2023

Woman avoids jail over indecent images of children

This is the “utterly vile” paedophile grandmother who “hates kids” and was caught encouraging another pervert to send her indecent images of children.

Christine Malone (55) avoided jail earlier this month when she was handed a three-year probation order for a string of child sex offences.

Malone, who was also caught in possession of images in which children were being sexually abused, was placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

When the former sex worker was ased if she had any remorse for her offending or would like to apologise to victims of child abuse, she slammed the door in the reporter’s face.

Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard Malone’s offending occurred from May to August 2014, and included sharing indecent images with a man.

The court also heard online discussions between Malone, of Benview Park, north Belfast, and the Lurgan man related to the abuse of children and what they would do to them.

Describing the conversations as “graphic in the extreme”, Judge Geoffrey Miller KC said they “gave rise to the deepest possible concerns of appalling, distorted and reprehensible paedophilic thinking”.

The judge said she “engaged in highly sexualised and vile discussions” about the sexual abuse, rape or torture of children, some as young as three years old.

Malone and the man engaged in online discussions about child abuse and how they would harm children.

The court was told the man is the subject of a police investigation, has fled Northern Ireland and is now living in the Netherlands, with extradition proceedings currently being considered.

Social services became involved when Malone’s offending first came to light in 2017, and following an investigation, it emerged that none of her children or grandchildren indicated that they had been sexually abused by her.

Judge Miller said it was also confirmed that the indecent images of children being abused which Malone possessed were “generic images available on paedophile websites” and were not of children she knew or had contact with.

She was arrested in March 2017 and told police she had an interest in online porn.

Malone, who explained that she helped look after her two grandchildren, was asked if she had any other contact with children or was involved in any youth groups.

She said: “I actually hate kids and don’t know why I had them myself.”

During a police interview, she also initially denied knowing the Lurgan man, denied discussing the sexual abuse of children in chatrooms, and could not recall receiving any indecent images of children.

The court heard Malone asked the man to send her videos and images of children and adults that were pornographic in nature.

However, she subsequently pleaded guilty to encouraging or assisting an offence to be committed by requesting the male to send her indecent images on dates between May and August 2014.

She also admitted six separate charges of possessing indecent images in July of the same year.

During sentencing, Judge Miller said he had considered defence submissions made on behalf of Malone which set out her unsettled childhood and the remorse she has expressed for her offending behaviour.

Also noted was the “lonely and isolated” life she now leads.

The judge said: “It is apparent that, at the relevant time, she was living in a highly sexualised world, making a living as a sex worker and selling photos of herself.”

Branding the online chats as “utterly reprehensible”, Judge Miller said they “represented fantasy on her part”.

Addressing Malone as she stood in the dock, he imposed the three-year probation order and told her to complete any programmes recommended by her probation officer.

She was also warned that a failure to comply with the order would result in a return to court and the “real prospect” of a prison sentence.