‘Mitigation’ a factor in child porn sentence

The severity of images in a child pornography case merited a jail sentence, but mitigating factors required it to be suspended, according to the sentencing judge in the case against a middle-aged Corkman yesterday.

Judge Petria McDonnell imposed a nine-month suspended sentence on Conor Murphy, aged 46, of Diamond Hill, Monkstown, Co Cork, who pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly having in his possession 586 child pornography image files at an unspecified location between Mar 31, 2010, and Jul 9, 2010.

Det Garda Seán Minihane said 566 of the images were stills from one video. The judge noted that some of the images were category one, the most serious category of child pornography.

“Child pornography is not a victimless crime,” said Judge McDonnell.

“It involves sexual exploitation of children. Demand will ensure supply which in turn causes the sexual exploitation of children.

“The mitigating factors are that he pleaded guilty, the non-purchase and non-distribution are very important.

“The images were all deleted and not retrievable by anyone without expensive software used by gardaí to investigate.

“Not participating in any chat or user group is of significance. He has no previous convictions.

“More significantly, he has confronted issues that led him to access this material by going to counselling.”

The judge noted from the counsellor’s assessment that he was not addicted and was not likely to re-offend.


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