herald

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Judge pulls plug on jailed paedophile's computer course

Predator Matthew Horan
Predator Matthew Horan

A Dublin man jailed for possessing child pornography and coercing young girls to send him graphic sexual images has been ordered not to take part in a computer programming course.

Matthew Horan (26) was sentenced in January to nine-and-a-half years, with the final two suspended.

Judge Martin Nolan had ordered a probation report into what the Prison Service could do to reform Horan.

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Yesterday Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the report confirmed that the Better Lives programme would be available.

Judge Nolan ordered that Horan not be allowed to enter into a computer programming course as outlined in the report.

He also ordered that Horan enter a bond to be of good behaviour for two years from the date of his release, undergo post-release supervision for two years and make use of all services available to him.

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard that Horan used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik to send and receive child porn images from six identified users in Ireland and nine unknown users around the world.

A forensic examination of his computer uncovered recorded Skype calls between him and two nine-year-old-girls, which included footage of the girls engaging in graphic sexual acts.

Horan used Kik to share child porn images and videos with unidentified users around the world, most of whom claimed to be young teenagers.

He threatened to share an 11-year-old girl's nude images to her social media if she didn't send him more graphic photos.

In the text exchange between them, this child repeatedly told Horan that she would kill herself. He then continued to coerce her to send more images.

Horan, of St Johns Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to a count each of sexually exploiting two girls within the State on dates between April 1 and November 23, 2014.

He admitted two more counts of sexually exploiting a child and one count of distributing child porn in 2015. He further pleaded guilty to possessing child porn at his address on July 11, 2015.

He admitted three further counts of sexually exploiting female children through Snapchat and Instagram in the State between May 21, 2015, and July 7, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing child porn on a mobile phone on July 7, 2016. He had no previous convictions.

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