Disabled son raped to make child porn

A man who raped his own disabled child for the production of child pornography has been jailed for 20 years.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his son, was identified by an international policing operation against child pornography.

Detectives from the Garda National Paedophile Investigation Unit tracked the man down using an IP address and, during a search of his home in March 2015, they discovered 12,427 images of child pornography. These included images depicting graphic sexual assault by adults of children as young as two weeks old. More than 5,500 of these images related to his son, who was aged 6 to 7 during the time the images were produced.

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts of rape and 10 counts of sexual assault of his son on dates between January 2014 and March 2015. He admitted three counts of sexual exploitation of his son, two counts of production of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

Sentencing him yesterday, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said this was the most difficult case he has dealt with and that the father’s breach of trust was magnified because of his son’s disability, which had left him unable to speak.

He said the man developed a taste for child pornography and decided it was necessary to generate his own using his son. This was then distributed to others.

“The indignity lives on in some part of the world when some pervert somewhere looks at the material,” said Mr Justice Hunt.

Philip Sheahan, defending, said his client got involved with this offending because of “some kind of thrill of accessing material that other people couldn’t access rather than the thrill of the material itself”.

Mr Justice Hunt said there seemed to be very enthusiastic participation in the abuse. He asked if the offending was made easier by the fact the victim was incapable of speaking.

Counsel replied that when asked why he chose to abuse his son, the man said: “He was there.”

Mr Justice Hunt said mitigating factors included the man’s early plea of guilty and his remorse, including concern he expressed for his son during Garda interview.

He said these mitigating factors meant he would not impose an indeterminate life sentence, noting that this meant “overcoming the revulsion one feels... and not without some misgivings”.

He ordered that the man comply with the Probation Services for a post-release supervision period of five years and backdated his sentence to April 2015, when the man went into custody.

Mr Justice Hunt said it was unbearably sad that a disabled child should be treated like this. He said it was perhaps fortunate for him that he did not understand what happened to him.


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