A Co Kerry man has been jailed for seven years for a range of child sexual assault offences, including paying women to access their children for his own “deplorable” gratification.
Timmy Duggan (35), of Mountain Lodge, Annagh, Tralee, Co Kerry, and originally from Moyvane in the county was previously returned for trial on 47 sexual offences against children.
However, the State accepted a plea to 22 offences ranging from child sexual assault, child sexual exploitation, inciting children to engage in a sexual act, possessing images of naked children and encouraging others, including the victims’ mothers, to produce “child pornography”.
The offences occurred at locations in Limerick and Kerry on dates between 2015 and last year.
Duggan was sentenced to eight years in prison with the final year suspended.
A woman in her 30s who sold naked photos of her son and daughter to Duggan was jailed for three years with the final 18 months suspended. She admitted sending him 19 individual images of her children between January 2018 and July 2019.
She received €3,500 from Duggan for the “child pornography” material.
She and Duggan have both been added to the sex offenders’ register.
During his trial, the court heard that Duggan, a four-time Kerry badminton champion, tried to directly solicit sexual favours from young children by offering them lollipops and cash.
Duggan’s own barrister, Mark Nicholas, described his actions as “absolutely despicable”.
On foot of Duggan’s disclosures when he was interviewed, gardai arrested a Kerry mother who admitted taking naked photos of her young son and daughter and selling the images to Duggan.
The woman’s barrister told the sentencing hearing that the woman was psychologically and financially “vulnerable” after her partner died.
The barrister said the woman met Duggan on a dating app and was initially “selling herself” to Duggan for sex.
“She moved from selling herself to exploiting her children for financial gain. She will have to live with the stigma and burden of what she has done for the rest of her life,” the barrister said.
Jailing the pair at Tralee Circuit Court on Monday Judge Elva Duffy, said Duggan’s actions were “disturbing, depraved and obscene”.
The role of the mothers involved was “a breach of trust of the most fundamental kind”, she added.
A probation report on Duggan considered him to be of a “higher than average risk of reoffending”.
A report on the woman highlighted “concerns” that she continued to “lack insight” into her role.
Judge Duffy noted the woman seemed to lack understanding that the main reason her children had been removed from her care was because “she cannot be trusted with their care”.
The woman was recently given the opportunity to explain to her children what she had done and is being afforded regular supervised visitation.
The judge said women who assisted Duggan by either providing images of their children or allowing him physical access to them “should have been protecting them but they offered them up to the accused for finanincal gain”.
Duggan first appeared on the radar of Gardai, when he was working as an assistant manager at a supermarket in Limerick, in April 2016 when the father of two girls aged 10 and 11 discovered he had befriended them in the supermarket and sent them requests for naked photos via Snapchat.
Duggan voluntarily presented himself at Mayorstone Garda station and handed over his mobile phone, laptop and access to his social media accounts.
He was arrested and questioned again in 2019 after gardaí suspected he had been engaging with women looking to access their children.
Duggan admitted “grooming” the two girls in Limerick three years earlier, and he volunteered information to detectives about other incidents where he had received naked photos of children from their mothers.
He also admitted attempting to lure two girls into his car in October 2019 in Co Kerry by offering them cash to allow him to perform a sex act in front of them.
Judge Duffy said Duggan was “calculating” and “pre-planned” his offences. She said he “preyed” on the women and “persuaded them to betray their relationship with their children”.
She sentenced Duggan to eight years in jail with the final year suspended, backdating the sentence to October 19, 2021 when Duggan was initially taken into custody.
Judge Duffy ordered that Duggan no longer use computers with internet access or mobile phones with cameras, unless he has authority to do so from the probation services or gardaí. He must also make any electronic equipment he is in charge of available to agencies working with him in the community after his release.
He was also ordered to engage with the probation services, attend a sexual offenders treatment programme and engage with psychological counselling.
Judge Duffy said Duggan’s woman co-accused must also engage with the probation services and an addiction therapy programme.