A COMEDIAN originally from Northern Ireland has been convicted of paying for and directing the sexual abuse of children in the Philippines and Romania.
Eamon Goodfellow, 50, was found guilty of two counts of attempting to cause the sexual exploitation of a child under 13 at St Albans Crown Court on April 12 following a six-day trial.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed to The Irish Post that Goodfellow, now of St Albans in Hertfordshire, is originally from Lurgan, Co. Armagh.
Martin Ludlow from the NCA said Goodfellow had 'attempted to arrange for the most horrific abuse of vulnerable children'.
Actively seeking children
Goodfellow, who has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and is a regular on the British comedy circuit, was arrested by NCA officers on June 14, 2018 and all of his electronic devices were seized for analysis.
A number of chat logs were recovered which showed Goodfellow discussing the abuse of children with facilitators, one of whom was based in the Philippines and the other in Romania.
In the chats, Goodfellow was shown to be actively seeking children under 13 years old.
According to the NCA, when a child at the right age was identified, he would direct the facilitators to perform certain sexual acts on the children with a view to live-streaming the offending.
Evidence showed that he sent payment to the facilitators to carry out the abuse.
"Goodfellow made it very clear that he has sexual interest in young children in these chat logs," said Ludlow.
"He attempted to arrange for the most horrific abuse of vulnerable children thousands of miles away from him for his own gratification.
“He was helped by facilitators whose motive is to make money.
"This kind of financially-driven offending is a key threat to the UK.
“The NCA works with international law enforcement partners to safeguard children, identify and disrupt those willing to fund and carry out this abuse.
"In the Philippines the NCA has an excellent relationship and actively supports the work of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC).”
Goodfellow will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on May 31.