herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

'I got addicted,' says man jailed for child porn

Sean Stewart (29) was sentenced by Judge Rory Mc Cabe at Galway Circuit Criminal Court for possession of child pornography
Sean Stewart (29) was sentenced by Judge Rory Mc Cabe at Galway Circuit Criminal Court for possession of child pornography

A GALWAY man has been jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, involving children as young as three months old.

Sean Stewart (29) from Drumaveg, Moycullen was sentenced to three years with the final 18 months suspended at Galway Circuit Criminal Court. The court heard he had told gardai he had "just got addicted" to the site he had found online.

acts

The court was told that Mr Stewart was found in possession of over 5,000 images or video clips which showed child pornographic material of children between the ages of three months and 15 years. Some of the images showed children engaged in sexual acts with adults and other children.

Det Sgt Paul Johnstone of the Garda Fraud Bureau told Judge Rory McCabe that this material was at the upper end of the scale. Other images showed children in posed positions.

Mr Stewart entered a guilty plea to one charge relating to the possession of child pornography, contrary to Section 6.1 of the 1998 Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

The court heard that Mr Stewart had co-operated fully with gardai, directing them to a HP laptop, USB stick and two Samsung mobile phones where the images were stored and providing email addresses and passwords. He told gardai, "I found a torrent and I just got addicted to it."

The court heard that Mr Stewart had three previous convictions, one for failure to notify a change of details in 2014 contrary to the Sexual Offenders Act and two relating to the defilement of a child under the age of 15 in 2011, for which he received a suspended two-year sentence.

Judge McCabe said taking into account all the evidence a custodial sentence was "unavoidable". Imposing a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended, Judge McCabe said he hoped the sentence might act as a deterrent and in the hope that Mr Stewart might seek assistance in custody.

hnews@herald.ie

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