Patton admitted an addiction to pornography and that he’d been downloading images of kids being abused for possibly as long as 20 years
We can reveal the 55-year-old, who narrowly avoided going to jail this week for sick sex images of kids only days after narrowly avoiding being injured in a bomb attack on his home, is staying put in east Belfast
And after loyalist paramilitaries strapped a pipe bomb to his front door in a bid to have him forced out of the area, the state is obliged to pay for state-of-the-art security measures.
This week it emerged Patton had admitted an addiction to pornography and that he’d been downloading images of kids being abused for possibly as long as 20 years.
We can reveal Patton is to have special security cameras erected at the front and back of his house and his front door is to be fitted with specialist sensors which will alert the authorities if anything is attached to the door, such as a device.
“Andrew Patton has decided to stay where he is and so the state has an obligation to pay for his safety,” said a security source.
“It doesn’t matter what he has done, he has the right to live without fear of attack, although it will annoy many people but the state has to pay for his security. “He’ll be getting door sensors which will trigger an alarm if anyone touches them when they are set — even the door handles will be super-sensitive and will call for help in the event of an attack.
“He’ll be getting security lighting, CCTV cameras and panic alarms as standard.”
Last night we spoke to a victim of child sex abuse who said they were disgusted we’d be paying for Patton’s security.
“There’s something not right when someone who gets off watching kids being raped gets thousands spent on his security,” they told the Sunday World.
“That money should be spent helping victims of child abuse instead. If perverts like him didn’t download pictures and videos of kids being sexually assaulted, they wouldn’t be made.
“I can’t believe he won’t even do a single day in jail either. It doesn’t seem like a fair punishment.”
Last week we revealed how this newspaper was left with no option but to alert the police after we received information Patton had stuck an unexploded pipe bomb into his black bin.
Patton had hoped by doing so he could avoid drawing further attention to himself after he was recently exposed as one of Ulster’s biggest hoarders of child pornography.
But he put the lives of refuse collectors and others in his neighbourhood at risk by failing to alert the authorities.
It’s not clear how long the device would have been lying in the bin for before collection day but it’s understood the bomb had been there for a full 48 hours before police were called to the scene by this newspaper.
Dozens of families were told to leave their homes for their own safety and some spent hours in a nearby community centre until the device was made safe.
After several hours the device was declared as being “viable”. A top cop described the attack as a “completely reckless act” which “shows no regard for the lives of people in this area”. On Monday Patton appeared at Antrim Crown Court where he escaped a jail sentence because of delays in his case coming to court.
Antrim Crown Court Judge Richard Greene QC told Patton that while his offences, including having images and movies of toddlers being raped, “far exceeds the threshold for a custodial sentence,” he had taken steps in the near six years since he was initially arrested to address his offending.
“To some extent, you have benefited from the delay,” the judge told Patton, adding that “the court can intervene to help those who have shown they want to help themselves.”
Ordering Patton to complete a two-year probation order, the judge said that “society has every interest in supporting your rehabilitation, notwithstanding the serious nature of your offending”.
In total, Patton entered guilty pleas to 34 counts of possessing indecent images, seven of having prohibited images and three of having extreme pornography, all committed between December 2015 and February 2016.
Patton had 1,197 images and 44 videos in category A, 1,083 images and 17 videos at assessed at category B along with 6,455 category C images and nine videos.
In addition he was caught with 7,540 prohibited images of children and three images which amounted to extreme pornography.
Prosecuting lawyer Robin Steer told the court that when officers from the Child Internet Protection Team conducted a search at Patton’s address in February 2016, they seized numerous devices including a laptop and computer tower along with external hard drives and storage devices.
From the very outset, Patton admitted there were indecent images on the devices, that he was “addicted to pornography” and that he had been downloading images of children for the last “ten to 20 years,” using different email address to hide the downloaded files.
In addition to the two-year probation order, Judge Greene also ordered Patton to sign the police sex offenders’ register for five years and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for seven years.