herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Sick' man had 400 child porn images

A DUBLIN man who downloaded over 400 images and videos of children being abused has had his sentence adjourned at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Patrick Coleman (27), previously of Block 6, Prospect Hill, Finglas, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography at his home on December 27, 2007. He appeared before Judge Desmond Hogan yesterday.

The images, some of which were of children as young as four, were stored on two laptops and a number of CDs and DVDs recovered from Coleman's apartment by gardai acting on confidential information.

Garda James Brennan told Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that Coleman immediately admitted possession of child pornography and directed gardai to his bedroom, where he said the images were kept, when presented with a warrant to search his premises.

Asked by gardai during interviews as to why he possessed such images, Coleman responded: "It's just sick, that's all, I don't know why I did it, I still don't know why I did it."

While in custody, Coleman accepted what gardai told him were in the movie files and requested not to view the videos in full.

Coleman told gardai that he did not really have an explanation for what he did, but said that things had "got on top of him" and that he had transferred the images to CDs and DVDs with the intent of destroying them.

Garda Brennan agreed with Caroline Biggs SC, defending, that Coleman had only basic computer knowledge and there was no sense of any effort on his behalf to distribute the images.

Garda Brennan agreed that Coleman had attempted suicide and that his property had been vandalised in the aftermath of this conviction.

Ms Biggs told the court that Coleman had been a sickly child who was bullied and isolated at school. She said that Coleman's father had informed his local community as to his son's conviction and that Coleman had since received the support of several neighbours.

She said that Coleman had access to children in his immediate family and there were no issues of trust involved.

She asked Judge Hogan to take in to account that Coleman had made full admissions to gardai, had regularly apologised for his actions and that there was no suggestion of any intent to distribute the files.

Judge Hogan adjourned sentencing until October to allow time for the finalisation of a probation report and a psychologist's report.

hnews@herald.ie

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