A 40-year-old man who molested his then 13-year-old nephew and e-mailed naked photographs of the teenager to an acquaintance, has been jailed for three years by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The south Dublin man who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and distribution of the photographs, as well as six charges of sexual assault on dates between 1 November 1993 and November 27, 1994.
Judge Desmond Hogan refused to accept a sum of money which defence counsel, Mr Luigi Rea BL, said his client wished to give to charity as compensation for his actions.
Judge Hogan said this offer "added insult to injury" to the victim and his family. The offences occurred as a result of a "breach of trust" perpetrated by someone in the victim’s extended family whom he had trusted and not only had the sexual assaults been committed but photographs of the injured party were also taken and kept.
Judge Hogan suspended the last 12 months on condition the he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of three years. He further ordered that he should continue to comply with the requirements of the Granada Institute and the probation services upon his release from prison.
Mr Rea said his client was glad he was caught because he said he could now deal with "the passion that gripped him, but a passion that is illegal."
Detective Sergeant Sean Campbell told Ms Pauline Walley BL, prosecuting, that he received information through an American source that this man had been buying child pornography online.
Gardaí searched his home on May 27 2002 and removed four computers, 250 Cd-roms, floppy disks and videos; and a large collection of photographs.
Det Sgt Campbell told Ms Walley that 3,199 images were found to depict child pornography, showing boys between 12 and 15 years of age posing naked or semi-nude and being the subject of, or engaging in sexual acts, including oral and anal sex, and masturbation.
Polaroid photographs of a naked young boy were also found. The man admitted to gardaí that these photographs were of his nephew, his sister’s son, taken when he stayed over in the house.
The boy would often spend the weekends in his grandparent’s house, where his uncle still resided. He would spend his time with the man where he would watch satellite TV and play the Nintendo.
Gardaí contacted the victim, who is now 25 years old and he admitted his uncle would sexually assault him when he stayed over by touching his genitals and masturbating him.
He said that his uncle used to take photographs of him while he was coming out of the shower or getting undressed. Initially he thought it was a bit of fun, and used to pose for the photos, but he later realised it was strange and asked the man to stop.
Det Sgt Campbell said the victim told gardai that later his uncle would watch pornography on satellite TV and make him watch it with him. He would masturbate him while watching it.
The man admitted to gardaí that he scanned the photographs of his nephew and e-mailed them to a man he communicated with over the Internet. He further admitted he knew this man was also interested in child pornography.
Det Sgt Campbell agreed with Mr Rea that the man claimed he was not aware it was illegal to view or possess child pornography. He accepted he has been attending the Granada Institute to deal with his offence and that he had made full admission to gardaí and co-operated with their investigation.