Man admits child porn offences

 

A man was convicted at Waterford Circuit Court yesterday of advertising child pornography on the Internet and possessing child pornography.

Thomas Muldoon, a single man with an address at Spring Lawn, Ashley Court, Waterford, pleaded guilty to committing the offences in Co Waterford between May 6th and 7th, 1999. The offences occurred when he was living in Dungarvan.

Judge Sean O'Donovan adjourned the case until July 30th for the production of a probation and welfare officer's report and psychiatric report and for sentencing.

Muldoon, a native of Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, who worked for an insurance company at the time of the offences, has been remanded in custody.

Mr Tom Teehan, prosecuting, told the court that Det Sgt Achin Steiger, of the German police, was part of a unit set up to counteract child pornography on the Internet. In May 1999, he accessed a computer site entitled Kinky Pre-Teen Sex.

Det Sergeant Steiger read the rules which govern such matters and the rules stated that he should send matter of the same nature and of equal amount to the sender. The sender had the nickname "Honeypot" and Det Sgt Steiger went under the nickname "Barracuda".

"He sent some material, which was not child pornography, to 'Honeypot', who turned out to be Thomas Muldoon. Notwithstanding that, he downloaded from Muldoon a considerable number of images."

Mr Teehan said many of the images were of a quite graphic nature involving child pornography. Det Sgt Steiger contacted the Garda and its investigation led to Muldoon.

Insp Tom O'Grady, of Dungarvan Garda Station, told the court that detectives found 241 images on a CD-Rom and also found a movie file belonging to Muldoon. On the eve of the last court hearing in Waterford, the gardaí further examined the hard drive and found several hundred more child pornography images.

There were images of male adults and very young children, some of whom were babies. Some of the images involved animals. They were very graphic, said the inspector.

In a statement made at Dungarvan Garda Station on June 20th, 1999, Muldoon said he had done the wrong thing and had absolutely no interest in child pornography. Insp O'Grady said Muldoon departed the jurisdiction between February and March 2000. Inquiries were made with the RUC and it took six to seven months to find him.