July 2023

Pervert caught in sting charged with having prohibited electronic devices

A pervert who sent sexually explicit images and messages to an undercover officer posing as a schoolgirl has been charged with breaching his sexual offences prevention prder (SOPO).

James Andrew Gillison is said to have failed to tell the police he had devices in his possession on July 17.

The 34-year-old appeared at Newtownards Magistrates Court on Wednesday via video link from prison.

A police officer said two Xbox consoles had been seized from Gillison’s home at Malvern Heights in Bangor.

While he provided the password for one, he did not give access to the other.

The officer said the PSNI would have “grave concerns” if he was released on bail.

A defence lawyer said one of the difficulties with bail was obtaining an address approved by the authorities.

District Judge Mark Hamill granted it on the condition that Gillison comply with “every iota of his SOPO” and live at a suitable address.

The case was adjourned until next month.

It is almost three years since the same judge handed the defendant 18 months of probation and imposed a five-year SOPO.

The pervert had admitted attempting to sexually communicate with a child for sexual gratification in February 2019.

Although Gillison believed he was chatting to a girl, the person on the other end was an undercover police officer.

He began talking with the supposed teenager through an online chat site and was told her apparent age.

“[After this], he continued with the communication and sexualised it,” said a lawyer.

Police seized a number of phones after he was arrested.

Gillison refused to provide answers when he was interviewed by the PSNI.

Sentencing him at the time, District Judge Hamill said, “Let probation help you”, and warned him if he offended again, he could find himself behind bars.