Avalon Guitars’ founder Steve McIlwrath facing charges of upskirting and possessing indecent child images

McIlwrath’s brand, Avalon Guitars, has made instruments for Bruce Springsteen.

Steve McIlwrath, a guitar maker from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is facing charges of upskirting and possession of indecent images of children. McIlwrath founded and currently co-manages Avalon Guitars.

As reported by ITV News, McIlwrath, 61, is alleged to have committed an act of “lewd obscene and disgusting nature”, “outraging public decency” by recording upskirt images of an unknown woman.

He is also accused of, between 1 April and 30 May 2018, making and possessing indecent images of children “with a view to distribute.” In total, McIlwrath faces four charges: one of upskirting and three related to indecent images of children.

District Judge Ann Marshall has adjourned the case until 9 May.

Upskirting has only recently become a specific crime in Northern Ireland, with the passing of the Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Bill earlier this month. However, before this, prosecution of the act can still happen under the reasoning of “outraging public decency,” as appears to be the reasoning behind the charges McIlwrath faces.

McIlwrath is the founder and managing director of Avalon Guitars. The brand specialises in acoustic instruments, offering six lines of traditionally-styled steel and nylon string guitars.

Guitar.com contacted Avalon Guitars for comment. A spokesperson stated in response: “We appreciate the understandable concerns there will be regarding these allegations. Mr McIlwrath will provide a full and transparent response at the appropriate time.”