Man pleads guilty to child pornography charges in Kerry

Details of case ‘so gross’ that public were excluded from courtroom by judge

The Kerry-based computers were traced because of a Homeland Security Department operation in the US which was investigating a man in Arizona who was creating images and placing them on a Russian website in 2012.

The Kerry-based computers were traced because of a Homeland Security Department operation in the US which was investigating a man in Arizona who was creating images and placing them on a Russian website in 2012.

 

A man in his 50s has pleaded guilty to five counts under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Acts at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee.

The offences included video storing of child pornography, showing children engaged with adults, production of documents of child pornography and gross remarks in on-line chat rooms.

Details of the case, stemming from a photo sharing, document, and chat site based in Russia, were so “gross” the judge excluded the public following an application from John O’Sullivan, prosecuting barrister. Judge Thomas E O’Donnell also made an order prohibiting publication of the name and address of the man.

The investigation of the case dated to the seizure of computers in late 2013, the court was told. The Kerry-based computers were traced because of a Homeland Security Department operation in the US which was investigating a man in Arizona who was creating images and placing them on a Russian website in 2012. There was then a link with the UK and one name in Ireland.

On line searches of child pornography were also found on the man’s computers, seized by gardaí in 2013 when they called to his home.

The pornography included “stories”, or documents involving multiple pages of descriptions of the rape and molestation of children, mostly little girls. The stories were created by the accused and by others and this type of pornography was unusual, the court was told. Adult males were described raping and sexually molesting children of various ages, an examination of the seized material which included a laptop an I-pad, floppy discs and modems revealed.

Detective Garda Ian Kelly, told Mr O’Sullivan that users discussed sexual molestation, sexual assault and worse of small children, particularly girls and as young as four.

There was “highly sexualised chat” with multiple users , he said.

Responding to a question from the judge, Det Kelly explained stories were documents created on computers and passed around. They did not involve photographs. While commentary did happen on pornography sites, stories were unusual, he said.

The court was also told the man had received most of the material and had created a few of the documents himself. There were remarks of a gross nature in those documents and in exchanges with the others.

Analysis of all the material, including the images and the stories took until 2017 because of the “sheer volume” of work the Garda Cyber Crime unit in Dublin had to deal with, the court was told.

Katie O’Connell, barrister for the man, said her client had become addicted to child pornography. He was relieved when gardaí arrived to his home and co-operated fully. He had suffered from depression and mental health problems, she said. He had no previous convictions and was a vulnerable person and his address should not be published, the barrister stated, handing psychiatrists’ reports into court. She said he was at a low risk of re-offending.

Judge O’Donnell adjourned the matter to December, ordering the man’s name and address should not be published.