A bookkeeper who admitted to being in possession of 1,200 child pornographic texts and videos has been given a three years suspended sentence by Judge Frank O'Donnell at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Paul Bradshaw (aged 34) of Balally Avenue, Dundrum was brought to justice after a person saw him looking at child pornography and contacted the gardaí. He pleaded guilty to possessing it at his home on November 30, 2002.
Judge O'Donnell said the Granada Institute reported Bradshaw presented "a moderate risk" of re-offending and that he had insight into his offending but that the probation report noted that while he admitted downloading images he still contested that some of the matter he had was pornographic.
"That is very disturbing as he doesn't seem to have come to terms with the reality of what it was," said Juge O'Donnell who added that he viewed a sample of the images and texts and agreed they were at the lower end of the scale of pornography. He wasn't involved in distribution.
Mr Ronan Kennedy BL (with Mr Hugh Hartnett SC ), defending, submitted that society would be best served if Bradshaw was not jailed and noted the contents of reports supporting his submission. He said Bradshaw had no previous convictions and was in employment.
Mr Hartnett had submitted at an earlier hearing that Bradshaw had been "engaged in a form of fantasy from a child" and that he got involved in the offence because of "social isolation" and "a lack of intimate relationships".
He said Bradshaw's development had seemed to be somewhat retarded until he had established "a satisfactory adult relationship of long-standing" with a female friend which allowed him to "grow up". He had come out of "his fantasy world" and had "gained a good understanding of the affect sexual assaults have on children".
Mr Hartnett said his client continued employment as a bookkeeper and stable relationships have helped him reduce the chance of re-offending.
Garda Paul Johnston told Mr Padraig Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that Bradshaw was caught with 80 texts containing stories of children engaging in sexual activity, 1,100 photographic images and 20 movies.
Det Gda Johnston said that while 5% of the images recovered involved children engaged in sexual activity, the majority of them involved children posing naked. Their ages ranged from five to 16 years and they were predominantly male.
Det Gda Johnston agreed with Mr Hartnett that the images had been downloaded from the internet and that there was no evidence that Bradshaw was responsible for their distribution.
Det Gda Johnston accepted that of the 60 child pornographic cases he had investigated this was at the lower end of the scale. He clarified that the movies involving sexual activity depicted the children masturbating and didn't involve any interaction with another child or an adult.
Judge O'Donnell suspended the sentence on conditions that Bradshaw remain out of trouble for five years, remain under probation supervision for one and carry out all instructions including attending the Granada Institute for as long as considered necessary.