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'Devoted' family man avoids jail for downloading child porn

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Ian Belton had 75 images

Ian Belton had 75 images

Collins Photos Dublin

Ian Belton had 75 images

A "devoted" family man who downloaded child pornography to his laptop during a period of marital difficulty has been given a suspended sentence.

Ian Belton (47) was caught with 75 images of child porno- graphy that involved graphic images of pre-teen and teenage girls, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard this week.

A video that showed young girls being subjected to sexual acts with a man was also recovered.

The images were found in a folder named "Work stuff" after a search was carried out following a tip-off.

Belton pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography at his home at Seagrange Drive, Baldoyle, on May 26, 2018. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally said there was a "sizeable" number of images that fell into "category two" and would normally place the case in the lower range.

Turbulent

She noted, however, that the video brought the case into the lower end of the mid-range.

Judge Greally noted Belton had cooperated with gardaĆ­.

She also took into account a psychiatric report that she said outlined his "somewhat turbulent upbringing".

She also noted that he was a very good father and a caring brother to his sister with special needs.

In addition, Judge Greally said she had a large number of testimonials that spoke of his "caring and considerate nature".

She took into account that he has undergone psychotherapy and developed "very appropriate insight" into his actions and that he is truly remorseful.

The judge said he is now deemed to be low-risk.

She said that in deciding if the aim of "general deterrence" could be achieved without a jail sentence, she was of the view that the stigma and loss of reputation as well as the registration that accompanied these offences achieved this.

She imposed an 18-month sentence suspended for 18 months.

The defence said her client was a "devoted" father who started looking at child porn when he was having marital difficulties.


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