Shop manager avoids jail for possessing 466 child porn images

Fionnbarr Kennedy ‘has moved on with his life’ since the incident, court hears

 Fionnbarr Kennedy leaves  Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts

Fionnbarr Kennedy leaves Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A manager of a Dublin art supplies shop has avoided a jail term after gardaí were tipped off by a credit card company that he had bought child pornography online.

Fionnbarr Kennedy (56) was at work in M Kennedy and Sons in Dublin when gardaí searched the premises and seized two phones and his laptop.

He accepted that the laptop was his own and nobody else had access to it. The computer was later analysed and 466 pornographic images of children were retrieved through forensic processes from one of the hard drives. Nothing was found on either of the phones.

Det Michael Fitzgerald told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that 180 of these images depicted girls under 17 years of age engaged in sexual activity, while 280 were images of underage girls with their genitalia exposed. The remainder of the images were computer generated.

Kennedy, of Kingsmill Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of child pornography at M Kennedy and Sons on Harcourt Street, on July 27th, 2010.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison, which was suspended in full.

The court heard that due to a backlog at the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau the laptop wasn’t analysed until 2015. Kennedy was subsequently interviewed again but made no admissions.

He was charged in June 2016 and initially requested a trial date but changed his plea to guilty last April. He has no previous convictions.

‘Considerable delay’

Judge Martin Nolan acknowledged the “considerable delay” in charging Kennedy.

He accepted that Kennedy had not distributed the images for profit nor had he circulated them.

Bernard Condon SC, defending, said the lengthy delay in bringing the case to court meant that his client had since “moved on with his life”.

At the time of the search Kennedy was “going through a tough time” with a divorce, counsel said, before adding that Kennedy has since remarried.

Mr Condon said Kennedy had engaged with counselling and a report from a forensic psychologist concluded that he was regretful of his involvement.