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Child porn video sent in Whatsapp group a 'moment of stupidity'

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Shane Carberry avoided a jail term over ‘lapse of judgment’

Shane Carberry avoided a jail term over ‘lapse of judgment’

Shane Carberry avoided a jail term over ‘lapse of judgment’

A salesman shared child pornography with a WhatsApp group of co-workers who were "trying to outdo each other" with shock humour and videos, a court heard.

Shane Carberry (28) re-posted the sick clip without watching the whole thing in a "moment of stupidity" that he instantly regretted, a court heard.

Dublin District Court heard the single video featured young boys with a woman.

Judge Bryan Smyth struck the case out, sparing Carberry a criminal record after he paid €2,000 to a children's charity.

The judge said it would be disproportionate to criminalise the accused for a "momentary lapse of judgement", after hearing Carberry was seeking work as a language teacher.

Carberry, of Howth Road, Killester, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography at a premises in East Wall Road on January 17 last year.

A further charge of distribution of child pornography was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Detective Garda Emma Ryan said the accused sent a video message by WhatsApp to a group with three other people.

The video contained images of two boys under the age of 10 engaged in sexual conduct with a female adult, the court heard.

When it was investigated, the accused went to a garda station by appointment.

He gave a voluntary interview in which he made full admissions and gave an explanation, the court was told.

He said he was part of a WhatsApp group with three other co-workers involving "a level of shock humour".

They would send around messages trying to shock each other and there would be an element of "trying to outdo each other", the accused's barrister said.

Carberry was invited to join another group by a school friend.

A message was posted in that group containing the video in question and Carberry watched a portion of that but "not the full thing".

He then indicated to the workplace group that he had got a shocking video and did not say what it was and he was encouraged to send it on and did so.

Carberry sent it on without really thinking about it and "instantly regretted what he had done".

He did it in a "moment of stupidity" and made a "gross error of judgement," the defence barrister said.

Det Gda Ryan said this explanation was fully accepted.

"It was a group of four males who were continually trying to outdo each other with shock humour and shock videos," she said. "It was a lapse of judgement."

The garda confirmed there had never been any material like that in the group before and it was a once-off.

Carberry's phone had nothing else "problematic" on it when it was analysed.

After the incident, the company Carberry had worked for dismissed him for misconduct.

He had since worked as an English language teacher.

He lost his most recent job as a result of publicity arising from the case.

Devastate

Testimonials were presented to the court, as well as a letter of apology by the accused, whose ambition was to work as an English teacher abroad.

His barrister said the offence was "entirely out of character" for Carberry, who was "truly remorseful for his actions".

Asking the judge not to convict the accused, he said the consequences, including placement on the sex offenders register would be "stark" and would "transform and devastate his life".

Judge Smyth said while it was a very serious matter he accepted it was a "momentary lapse of judgement" by Carberry and it would be "disproportionate to criminalise him for that".

Carberry seemed to "fully appreciate the consequences", he said.

The judge struck the charge out after Carberry made a €2,000 donation to the ISPCC charity.


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