Suspended sentence in child pornography case
A 27-YEAR-OLD Wexford town man who pleaded guilty to the possession of child pornography has received a 12-month suspended prison sentence.
Barry Malone, of 7 Newtown Court, Wexford, came before Judge Cormac Quinn at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court where he pleaded guilty to the possession of two laptops containing images of child pornography on October 1, 2010, at 7 Newtown Court.
Prosecuting Counsel, Ms Sinead Gleeson, told the court that while there were three counts of possession of child pornography, there was a guilty plea entered to Count 1 on the presentation of the full facts.
Garda Ian Doyle told the court that during an investigation led by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Malone was identified as someone who was using peer-to-peer networking to access child pornography. A search warrant was executed on October 1, 2010 when Garda Doyle called to the home of the defendant’s parents. Malone, who was present at the time of the search, co-operated fully and made a full admission.
Two laptops were recovered in the search and examined by Garda Janet Walsh of the Investigations Unit. Due to the unit being overburdened with work, it took quite some time for this examination to be completed.
Garda Doylesaid there was no question of the defendant distributing the images – he was only before the court for the downloading of the material. Replying to Defence Counsel Philip Sheahan, Garda Doyle said the defendant appeared to be a pleasant, mannerly young man, who had never been in trouble with the law previously or since.
Garda Doyle agreed with Mr Sheahan that this has been six years travelling through the law through no one’s fault
A psychological report indicated that the defendant was at a low risk of re-offending. The defendant, said Mr. Sheahan, is the youngest of three brothers, one of whom had travelled home from Philadelphia to be of support, while his father, mother and brothers were all in court to lend their full support.
Defence Counsel, Mr. Sheahan said the psychological report said he was from a loving, caring family but when he went to primary school he found himself bullied by peers. His academic achievements were damaged at that time as he suffered with dyslexia which was not diagnosed until fifth class. His experiences with the opposite sex were limited until he went to college where he had his first relationship that ended due to these legal difficulties.
Judge Quinn said the headline sentence for such an offence is two years, however, he would impose a 12-month sentence, suspended for 18 months on condition that the defendant keep the peace and be of good behaviour, comply with all the conditions in the probation and welfare report and co-operate with the Safer Life Programme.