Comedian from Northern Ireland who paid for abuse of children is jailed

Comedian from Northern Ireland who paid for abuse of children is jailed

A COMEDIAN originally from Northern Ireland has been jailed for paying for and directing the sexual abuse of children in the Philippines and Romania.

Eamon Goodfellow, 50, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, was found guilty of two counts of attempting to cause the sexual exploitation of a child under 13 at St Albans Crown Court in April.

On Thursday, Goodfellow — who has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and was a regular on the British comedy circuit — was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.

Paid facilitators for abuse

Goodfellow, originally from Lurgan, Co. Armagh, was arrested by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers in June 2018 and all of his electronic devices were seized for analysis.

A number of chat logs were recovered which showed him 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.

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, who was also subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, will remain on the sex offenders register for life.

'Sexual interest in young children'

"Goodfellow made it very clear that he has sexual interest in young children in these chat logs," said Martin Ludlow from the NCA.

"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, as well as to identify and disrupt those willing to fund and carry out this abuse.

"The NCA has an excellent relationship with agencies in the Philippines and actively supports the work of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC)."