Man handed himself in to gardaí over child porn

A man who downloaded images of child pornography was not detected but presented himself at his Garda station with the hard discs of two computers containing the material.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said of the accused at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, “his disclosure makes this case unusual to the point of unprecedented”.

Tim Cronin, aged 33, of 97 Main Street, Midleton, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to a charge of having 67 images of child pornography on one hard disc and 48 such images on a second hard disc.

The judge said a one-year suspended sentence was appropriate.

Another unusual feature of the case was that it dated back to October 20 2010 when the accused was living at Lakeview Midleton. That was the date on which he presented himself at Midleton Garda Station with downloaded material at a time when no one was aware he had it.

His barrister Ray Boland said Tim Cronin could have thrown the hard discs into the tide nothing would have come against him. And it took the Garda forensic analysis until now to bring this 2010 matter to court, as a result of staff shortages. Sergeant Gerard O’Shaughnessy said the accused had no previous convictions.

Mr Boland said of the defendant: “He was something of a loner. He did access this material late at night under the influence of alcohol. He would get an adrenaline kick and then wake up feeling ashamed. On foot of advice from a counsellor he went to the guards.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin said the accused had alcohol and mental health issues but had apparently stayed away from such images in the meantime and invited gardaí to inspect his computers at any time.

The judge said he was also taking into account how long it had been since the offence was committed.



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