herald

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Australian police alerted gardai to Dublin man using child porn

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

A Dublin man whose use of child pornography was detected by Australian investigators has received a suspended sentence.

Philip Nolan (30) of Ambervale Estate, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in the form of text stories, images and videos at his home on May 4, 2011.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that authorities in Queensland, Australia alerted gardai, via Interpol, about an Irish IP address being used to access child sex abuse images.

Gardai connected this IP address to Nolan's home. During a search of the home in May 2011 they seized two laptops, a memory stick and a hard drive.

In January 2017, gardai carried out a forensic examination of these items and found a total of 106 child porn files, including images, videos and text stories.

The court heard Nolan told gardai he had tried masturbating to the child sex abuse images but he did not like it.

Judge Pauline Codd said that an aggravating factor was that the material was accessed over a long period of time.

Nolan was 18 years old when he began to research child pornography in 2006 and continued to do so until 2011.

She said Nolan had viewed the material for sexual pleasure.

Reprehensible

She said this was utterly reprehensible and that some of the images involved real children.

Judge Codd suspended a sentence of two-and-a-half years, on condition that Nolan attend a sexual offenders treatment programme.

The court heard Nolan was at low risk of re-offending, had no previous convictions and had not come to garda attention since.

Judge Codd noted that Nolan accepted responsibility for his actions and had expressed shame, sadness and regret.

Garda Alan Young told the court that after his arrest Nolan admitted downloading the material.

Detective Garda Donagh Mannix told the court that investigators recovered six text stories and said they were quite sexually explicit.

He said one document was an 81-page story about pre-teen girls engaging in sexual activity.

He told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that three of the images retrieved were at the most serious category of child pornography and involved teenagers between 15 and 16 naked on couches masturbating.

The court heard that the case was part of a larger garda operation into paedophile activity online and that more serious cases had to be prioritised over this one.

The five-year delay in examining the computer equipment was also caused by a shortage of analysts, Gda Mannix said.

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