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Sunday 27 May 2018

Dad-of-four avoids jail over child porn pictures on phone

Brian Manning is to be supervised by the Probation Service
Brian Manning is to be supervised by the Probation Service

A man has avoided jail for possessing child pornography, which he accessed via an instant messaging app on his smartphone.

Father-of-four Brian Manning (52), of St Finbarr's Close, Greenhills, Dublin, pleaded guilty to a single count of possessing 37 images and one video classified as child pornography on March 15 last year.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court had previously heard the images depicted mostly pre-teen girls engaged in explicit sexual activity with adults.

Manning was sentenced to 18 months fully suspended yesterday on condition that he be supervised by the Probation Service for that period.

Judge Cormac Quinn said he was taking into account mitigating factors, including Manning's early guilty plea and his remorse.

The judge said he was also aware that media coverage of the case had affected Manning's personal life and his marriage had ended.

A probation report placed him at low risk of re-offending.

Anonymity

Gda Ronan Swan told Ronan Kennedy, prosecuting, that gardai were made aware of the offence by Canadian authorities in February last year.

The National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre in Canada said someone going by the username biman4377 had been distributing child pornography over a social media app called Kik Messenger.

Gda Swan said Kik Messenger offered a certain amount of anonymity as only a username and address were required to set up an account.

The court heard that a garda contacted Virgin Media which confirmed that two images of child pornography had been sent from an IP address registered to Manning.

Manning voluntarily attended Crumlin Garda Station by request and made admissions.

His phone was seized and a forensic examination revealed 37 photos and one video.

Manning told gardai: "I was in a bad place at the time. If I'm prosecuted I know I'm going to destroy my whole family, who don't deserve it - I do."

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