Chat logs showed Lisburn man Andrew Maxwell (62) had talked to another user about the rape of a child
At Craigavon Court on Friday, Andrew Maxwell (62) was sent to Maghaberry Prison for 10 months with a further 10 months on licence.
He was also given a seven-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for a decade.
In addition to 20 counts of making indecent images of children and two of distributing level A and B images over a seven-year period, Maxwell, from Ashlea Place in Lisburn, pleaded guilty to trying to incite a girl to look at a pornographic image.
He admitted a single count of having a prohibited image of a child and 13 counts of having extreme pornography.
The court heard his activities were exposed when child protection officers searched his home and seized almost 20 electronic devices.
On a mobile phone and laptop, cops uncovered close to 200 indecent images and two videos, one involving a 12-year-old girl. He had also concocted a fake profile of a 42-year-old woman called Leslie Crisp to participate in online forums.
A chat log showed he had talked to another user about the rape of a child and had shared a category A image.
When he was arrested and interviewed, Maxwell admitted his crimes, saying he had created the Leslie Crisp profile “to get things started”.
“I’m so sorry. You don’t know how ashamed I am,” he said.
The prosecution argued the offences were aggravated because some of the images involved children as young as six, and the chat logs “display a very graphic” interest in the abuse of children.
The court was told Maxwell had a clear record, “accepts entirely his culpability and wishes to formally apologise”.
It was submitted that as a result of his Army career, from which he was given an exemplary discharge, Maxwell had been left with PTSD.
He then used alcohol, sex and drugs to cope as he tried to “forget about the horrors he had seen”.