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'category a' Christian singer with RTÉ Philharmonic Choir confesses to downloading child abuse vids

John Broderick once preached he'd been 'saved' by Christ after a life of drink and drugs

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John Broderick in the recording studio

John Broderick in the recording studio

John Broderick in the recording studio

A broadcaster and singer with the RTE Philharmonic Choir has faced the music after confessing to downloading sick videos of kids being abused, we can reveal.

Born-again Christian John Broderick travelled the globe with the world-famous choir before turning to radio broadcasting with the UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) based in Dublin.

He narrowly escaped going to prison and, incredibly, Newry Crown Court was told he's been offered a job in a church by a pastor who has taken him under his wing.

He's also on record in 2017 explaining to a Co Armagh church congregation from the pulpit how he turned his back on a life of drugs and alcohol after he was "saved" by Jesus Christ.

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John Broderick

John Broderick

John Broderick

During the 'testimony' service, Broderick told the audience that after making friends with a judge in the choir, God had told him while saving him: "I will seat you beside judges".

And that's exactly where he found himself when he made several appearances in front of a Crown Court judge in Newry for downloading despicable footage of kids being abused.

Disturbingly, during the same testimony Broderick, who is now banned from having any unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, talks about going to Africa to work with vulnerable children.

Broderick spent several years working for the United Christian Broadcasters as a radio presenter and regularly interviewed prominent Christians about their experience with God.

But the 53-year-old chorister of Battleford Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, seemed to have lost his voice when we called at his door to ask him about his sick crimes.

For we can reveal Broderick has been disgraced after it emerged he had downloaded images and videos described in court as 'Category A'.

Category A is the court's definition of the most serious and depraved sexual activity and the court was told Broderick had downloaded 11 Category A videos.

Broderick, who's originally from Dublin, pleaded guilty recently at Newry Crown Court to eight counts of making indecent images of a child on August 21 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to a further count of possessing indecent images of children.

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However, when we called the broadcaster who once ran a radio show interviewing people about how they found God, was not keen on telling his story at all.

The gospel singer, who was still in his pyjamas, refused to even open the door and addressed us, briefly, through the window of his porch but refused to answer any questions and quickly retreated back upstairs.

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John Broderick was a presenter on Christian radio programs

John Broderick was a presenter on Christian radio programs

John Broderick was a presenter on Christian radio programs

A defence barrister explained how Broderick had suffered "distressing incidents" when he was younger and that having left school illiterate, he had returned to education and got himself a degree in design.

He added that Broderick had joined the RTE Philharmonic Choir and had travelled the world and built up his own business before losing it.

He said the offending occurred four months after Broderick, who had a clear record, had lost his mother and the bereavement - coupled with a return to drinking alcohol - had contributed to his offending.

But Judge Peter Irvine QC took a lenient view of Broderick's behaviour and having read a number of pre-sentence reports, including one from a psychiatrist, he decided not to send him to prison.

Instead he deemed he could be best rehabilitated with the treatment and supervision probation could provide and handed him a two-year Probation Order and ordered him to be subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

However, in addressing Broderick, Judge Irvine said: "It must always be recalled when considering offending of this nature that at the root of this offending one has the fact that children must be abused for these images to be available.

"And persons like the defendant who download and look at, for whatever purpose, these types of images have to be considered as people who encourage this type of behaviour."

He went on to say having taken all the facts of the case into consideration, combined with his early guilty pleas, he felt an immediate custodial sentence was not necessary.

With the Probation Board suggesting he could reoffend if he did not receive certain treatment, the judge felt it was in the interests of the defendant and the public that he is supervised and given the necessary treatment.

When asked if he consented to probation for two years, Broderick replied: "I do your honour".

And he repeated those words when asked if he understood that he would be brought back for a "very different type of sentencing" if he failed to comply with the order.

The judge also said a Sexual Offences Prevention Order was necessary to protect the public and that would run for five years and that the offensive material and equipment would be destroyed.

In 2017 Broderick, who was born a Catholic, gave his born-again Christian 'testimony' at Annaghmore Gospel Mission in Co Armagh.

During this he detailed how after his life had spiralled out of control and he became a drug addict, God came into his life and saved him.

He says he came across the border to live in Northern Ireland in the early '90s when the rave scene was just getting going.

He says he became a drug addict, resorted to robbing his own parents and took just about every drug going for seven or eight years until he tried to take his own life by crashing his car into a lamppost.

That's when he says God intervened and told him his plans for him were "always good, never bad" and he went on a journey with God.

He says the consequence was he went back to college to get his degree and joined the RTE Philharmonic Choir.

"I travelled the world with the biggest choir in Europe, singing in front of judges, I actually ended up sitting beside a judge and that's what the Lord had said to me 17 years ago - 'I will seat you beside judges, I will give you influence'.

"It was that judge that paid for me to go to Africa to work with children that were former child soldiers."

He also said he'd become a Christian radio presenter because God had asked him to and that God "wasn't finished" with him.

He also claims God had shown him his plans for Ireland and the UK - "I'm privileged to be here to see it", he said at the time.

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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