May 2016

Man jailed after ‘squalid’ images of young children being sexually abused are found at home

Aaron Ravel

A BELFAST man has been jailed for just three months for what a judge described as “squalid” indecent images of young children being sexually abused.

Children’s nurse Aaron Ravel (46), of Thorndale Avenue in the north of city, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to 22 counts of making indecent images of children.

The court heard that a total of 7,367 indecent images were found with some 174 in the most serious category including images of abuse on “a child under one year-old”.

Ravel had previously worked at Carlisle Health and Well Being Centre in Belfast

The offences were committed on dates between October 2013 and April 2014.

Prosecutor Simon Jenkins told Belfast Crown Court police carried out an “intelligence-led search” at Ravel’s home on October 27, 2014 and found a large number of computers and electronic storage devices.

Judge Devlin was told that Ravel gave a no comment interview to police and was asked for any passwords for the computers.

Mr Jenkins said police were able to view only a “a very small number of files” due to passwords being protected with encryption codes.

However when Ravel was re-interviewed in April 2015 he supplied the passwords, the court was told.

He admitted that he had accessed and stored indecent images of children for a period of one-a-half to two years.

Defence barrister Des Fahy said since Ravel was caught his marriage had fallen apart, he had lost his job and he had no ongoing contact with his children, aged 12 and 14.

The defence lawyer said Ravel was remorseful for his offending, adding that the Probation Service required at least two years to work with Ravel on a supervised treatment programme.

Judge Devlin described the images as “squalid” and said the “particular young age of the children” was a further aggravating factor along with the large volume of images found by police before jailing Ravel for three months who was told he would spend a further two years on licence.