herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

Man (20) caught with 'paedophile handbook' and vile images jailed

Conor Emmett has been jailed for 15 months over child porn
Conor Emmett has been jailed for 15 months over child porn

A young Dublin man caught with graphic child pornography showing the sadistic rape and torture of a baby girl has been jailed for 15 months.

Gardai found 5,919 images and 328 video files on two laptops and a phone belonging to Conor Emmett (20) after an intelligence operation involving the FBI and Europol.

Gardai said the graphic material was at the upper end of seriousness in such cases.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday morning, Judge Karen O'Connor suspended the last 15 months of a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Victimless

Det Gda Brid Wallace, from the Cyber Crime Bureau, said the images and videos spanned all categories of seriousness, including video files showing the rape and torture of an 18-month-old girl.

Emmett, of Northway Estate, Finglas, pleaded guilty to possessing the digital images and videos on two laptops at his home on May 17, 2016. He had no previous convictions.

In sentencing him, Judge O'Connor said this was by no means a victimless crime and must be taken very seriously by the court.

However, she noted Emmett's early plea, the fact that he was a very good student, has been involved in charity work and has engaged in intensive re- habilitation.

Det Gda Wallace told Derek Cooney, prosecuting, that one video showed an 18-month-old girl being sexually abused by a masked female. The court heard that this child has since been identified in Thailand and taken to safety.

"She has no recollection of the abuse but suffered serious internal damage and will not be in a position to have children when she is older," Det Gda Wallace said.

The detective told Mr Cooney that gardai also found a "Welcome to Paedophilia Handbook" on Emmett's computer.

"This included sections entitled 'How to handle police and the public if things go wrong', 'How to have sex with kids in safe and rewarding ways' and 'Hunting season'," Det Gda Wallace told the court. A garda memo of interviews stated that Emmett had first accessed child porn when he was aged 16.

Tara Burns, defending, said Emmett has done great work to overcome what was obviously a sickness. "There is no other way to explain this as it is truly and seriously dreadful," she said.

Ms Burns handed in several letters to the court, which included letters from the defendant, his parents and a family friend.

"My client is from an extraordinarily good family and has parents that have supported him throughout because he is a kind, caring and loving person," she said.

Ms Burns said that representatives from One In Four, a victim support group with whom Emmett has completed a programme, said he had made honest disclosures in relation to his behaviour.

Interested

She said Emmett told a psychiatrist attached to this programme that he was "looking at the material because it interested me".

Ms Burns said the defendant did very well at school, completed Gaisce awards and now volunteers at a charity shop.

"He stepped off the precipice and has broken his parents' hearts," she added.

The court previously heard that Emmett came to garda attention when the FBI began monitoring a Tor network after arresting an individual in America.

The FBI passed this user's and other Irish users' IP addresses to Europol, who sent them to gardai at the Online Child Exploitation Unit.

Gardai raided Emmett's home in May 2016 and he admitted he had accessed child porn.

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