Dungannon child grooming and sex abuse images accused freed on £10k court bail

Dungannon Crown Court
Dungannon Crown Court

A Tyrone man accused of grooming children on-line, making and possessing images of other youngsters being sexually abused and having extreme sexual images, was yesterday (Tuesday) freed on a £10,000 court bail.

39-year-old Michael Dynes was granted bail by Dungannon Crown Court, so that he may live at an undisclosed address in Co Antrim - which is known to police.

Judge Paul Ramsey QC told the former Dungannon man, whose address was given as Maghaberry prison, that while he was releasing him, he must abide by the onerous conditions of his bail.

They include reporting to police, a nightly curfew, tagging, not to contact prosecution witnesses or being in the unsupervised company of children.

Dynes, who is also accused of posing as a casting agent for a bogus modelling agency to defraud unsuspecting women and girls, is not allowed to have or use any device capable of connecting to the internet, or viewing or recording images.

He denies the 41 charges against him, including voyeurism, secretly recording women "doing a private act" and inciting children online not only to watch but also engage in sexual activity.

Barrister Simon Reid told the court "the core of the prosecution objections" for bail was the high risk of Dynes further offending, given his alleged long period of offending from 2009 until his arrest last year.

Mr Reid said Dynes, who is to stand trial in the New Year, had been refused High Court bail in the past given the seriousness of the charges which included having a large number of video files in all of the one to five category range.

Defence barrister Patrick Taggart said that Dynes had been in custody for over 15 months, and had "effectively lost all contact with his family".

Mr Taggart said there was also a possibility of a delay in his forthcoming trial, and that while on bail Dynes was prepared to accept any conditions the court felt necessary.

The defence lawyer also argued that unlike others accused of sex crimes involving direct contact between them and their alleged victims, Dynes had never been in any direct physical contact with anyone, as all of his alleged offending was committed via a computer screen.

An earlier unsuccessful High Court bail application in May heard that Dynes was arrested as part of a major investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which had examined three laptops, an external hard-drive and a USB stick belonging to him.

A prosecution lawyer claimed Dynes was accused of making secret "up-skirt" recordings of females, and viewing indecent images of children, extreme porn and even a so-called snuff movie where the victim was raped and then shot.

The barrister further claimed some children on-line were not only"invited" to touch themselves, but on occasions would be incited "to try and get their siblings to engage in that activity as well".