Bray People - - NEWS -

THE man­ager of an art sup­plies shop has avoided a jail term af­ter gar­daí were tipped off by a credit card com­pany that he had bought child pornog­ra­phy on­line.

Fionnbarr Kennedy (56), of Kingsmill Lane, Bray, was at work in M Kennedy and Sons when gar­daí searched the premises and seized two phones and his lap­top.

He ac­cepted that the lap­top was his own and nobody else had ac­cess to it. The com­puter was later an­a­lysed and 466 images were re­trieved through foren­sic pro­cesses from one of the hard drives. Noth­ing was found on ei­ther of the phones.

De­tec­tive Garda Michael Fitzgerald told Gar­rett McCor­mack BL, prose­cut­ing, that 180 of th­ese images de­picted girls un­der 17 years of age en­gaged in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity, while 280 were images of girls with their gen­i­talia ex­posed. The re­main­der of the images were com­puter gen­er­ated.

Kennedy pleaded guilty at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court to possession of child pornog­ra­phy at Kennedy and Sons on Har­court Street, Dublin, on July 27, 2010. He was sen­tenced to two-and-half-years in prison, which was sus­pended in full.

The court heard that due to a back­log at the Garda Na­tional Cy­ber Crime Bureau, the lap­top wasn’t an­a­lysed un­til 2015. Kennedy was in­ter­viewed again but made no ad­mis­sions.

He was charged in June 2016 and ini­tially re­quested a trial date but changed his plea to guilty last April. He has no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

Judge Martin Nolan ac­knowl­edged the ‘con­sid­er­able de­lay’ in charg­ing Kennedy be­fore he de­scribed it as a se­ri­ous crime, which he said ‘was not vic­tim­less’. He ac­cepted that Kennedy had not dis­trib­uted the images for profit nor had he cir­cu­lated them.

Bernard Con­don SC, de­fend­ing, said the lengthy de­lay in bring­ing the case to court meant that his client had since ‘moved on with his life’.

At the time of the search, he was ‘go­ing through a tough time’ with a di­vorce, coun­sel said, be­fore he added that Kennedy has since re-mar­ried. His sec­ond wife had a child in 2014 and he has chil­dren from his pre­vi­ous mar­riage.

Mr Con­don told Judge Nolan that in 2014 Kennedy took his cur­rent wife for a walk and ‘ex­plained to her what had hap­pened’.

He has since en­gaged with coun­selling and a re­port from a foren­sic psy­chol­o­gist con­cluded that he was re­gret­ful of his in­volve­ment.

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