IT worker should have been jailed for child abuse images, court hears

Robert Traynor (54) downloaded and produced thousands of child abuse images

A computer worker at a bank who was convicted after using his IT skills to download and produce thousands of child abuse images should have been jailed, a court was told today.

Robert Traynor (54) of southwest Dublin, left court with a suspended sentence after pleading guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of 1,938 images and 183 videos of child sexual abuse on February 2nd, 2018.

Traynor had also admitted the production of 1,650 computer generated images on September 22nd, 2014.

At a sentence hearing in March this year, Judge Pauline Codd said the offending had been "abhorrent" and involved the "gross exploitation" of children.

But she also noted that Traynor had undergone counselling and had been deemed at a low risk of re-offending as she handed down a two-and-a-half-year term, which she suspended in its entirety.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal was told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was appealing the sentence on the grounds the judge had been unduly lenient and had erred by failing to include a period of incarceration.

In a written submission to the court, the DPP claimed Judge Codd had failed to give sufficient weight to a number of aggravating factors including the number of images discovered on Traynor’s devices which he had downloaded from the internet and the number he had created himself.

The fact Traynor had used his computer skills to identify a web browser to “conceal his tracks” was another aggravating factor, the DPP said.

Elva Duffy BL, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court that there was a level of "foreplanning and duplicity" involved in Traynor's offending which had continued up until he had been confronted by gardaí.

Ms Duffy said there had been no aspect of a deterrent in the sentence handed down and that “there should have been some element of incarceration”.

Michael Hourigan BL, for the respondent, said his client had cooperated from the outset with gardaí by providing passwords to encrypted material on his arrest.

Mr Hourigan added that the offending material had been at the “lower scale” and that a non-custodial sentence was appropriate in this case.

The sentencing judge, he said, had enjoyed “the benefit of the evidence and acted in accordance with established principles when disposing of the matter”.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, presiding, said the three-judge court had decided to reserve judgement.