herald

Monday 1 September 2014

Dad went to shop to move his child porn

A FATHER of one who went to a shop looking for help to transfer child pornography from one phone to another has avoided a jail term.

David Sharpe (53) asked the shop assistant in an O2 store for help and handed him a Nokia phone that had an image of a child naked from the waist down as the wallpaper.

Garda Vincent Heaney told Roisin Lacey, prosecuting, that when the staff member went to help him transfer images from this phone to another, he noticed similar images and became suspicious. He told Sharpe that he needed to keep the phone and the gardai were contacted. Sharpe was allowed leave with the second phone, but this was later seized.

Garda Heaney said a total of 44 images were recovered, 27 of which showed children aged between eight and 14 engaged in sexual acts, and 17 of which showed children in sexual poses.

Sharpe later admitted in a garda interview that the images were his, but claimed he downloaded them from a naturist and young models website.

He told gardai he had been "curious about looking at" child pornography for about two or three years, but had stopped six months before his arrest.

Sharpe, of Bremore Court, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of child pornography at the O2 Store, Scotch Hall, Drogheda on June 13, 2009.

Judge Martin Nolan said he was satisfied a prison term was not justified before he sentenced Sharpe to three years which he suspended in full on strict conditions, including that he remain under probation supervision for 18 months.

He accepted that Sharpe had not distributed, purchased nor shared the images and had therefore not supported the child pornography industry.

Cathal McGreal, defending, said that Sharpe was not "the brightest".

Judge Nolan accepted that Sharpe was somewhat naive.

hnews@herald.ie

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