Sentence due on gardener caught with 10,000 pornographic images

A Fingal market gardener caught with more than 10,000 images of child pornography mainly showing "very young children in very graphic acts" after Austrian police alerted gardaí will be sentenced shortly.

A Fingal market gardener caught with more than 10,000 images of child pornography mainly showing "very young children in very graphic acts" after Austrian police alerted gardaí will be sentenced shortly.

Colm Carty (aged 39) of Channel Road, Rush downloaded and printed off images, some of which showed the rape of very young children.

Carty told gardaí his behaviour was "at the level of fantasy but he had no intention of bringing it to reality".

Carty pleaded guilty to possession of the images at his home on February 16, 2007.

Detective Sergeant Maura Walsh said Carty admitted it was a compulsion and he got excited by doing something wrong as he never had even been served with a parking ticket before.

Judge Desmond Hogan, who viewed a sample of the images, adjourned sentence to November and ordered the preparation of a probation report and an updated report from the Granada Institute for that date.

Det Sgt Walsh told prosecuting counsel, Ms Una Ni Raifeartaigh BL, that Carty was caught after gardaí received information from the Austrian police that he had been downloading child pornography from a host server that carried the phone number associated with the house in which the material was being accessed.

She said that Carty told gardaí that although he was mainly interested in 12-16-year-old children, the significant portion of the images confiscated by gardaí were of very young children.

Carty said he first used the internet to get "cheats" for games but he then started to look up adult pornography before moving on to child pornography. It started off with pop-ups but he accepted that he deliberately looked at the sites, saved images and printed them off.

Det Sgt Walsh said Carty admitted that he never had a girlfriend or any friends to confide in. He said he never paid to access the images but accepted that he knew it was an offence to download the material.

When asked if he understood the effects the industry had on the children depicted, Carty replied: "It's your feelings against theirs. You feel justified if you are not paying for it."

When asked if he had regretted his behaviour, he replied: "You always have regrets. If you are caught you have to take the punishment. If you are caught you regret it".

Ms Caroline Biggs BL, defending, asked Judge Hogan to accept that as Carty was not distributing the child pornography, his case was comparable to that of the difference between a drug user and a dealer.

"Although he still engages in the industry to feed his addiction he does not do so for commercial gain," she said.

She said that a report from the Granada Institute indicated that Carty had a "deep-seated fear of intimacy", never having had a sexual experience or a long-lasting friendship.

She said he was "120%committed" to his treatment there which he had paid for with 20 years of savings and added that he was "absolutely disgusted with himself".

Ms Biggs said the report indicated he was at a modest risk of re-offending because he struggled to understand the impact child pornography had on those depicted but asked Judge Hogan to allow him continue his Granada Institute treatment so he could be deemed as being at a low risk of re-offending.

Det Sgt Walsh agreed with Ms Biggs that Carty co-operated fully with gardaí and handed over some of the images he had printed off.

She also agreed he was not involved in sharing or distributing the images nor was he involved with other people that engaged in this activity.

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