A 75-year-old retired teacher who was caught with hundreds of images of child pornography when his home was raided in 2011 and again in 2015 was given a one-year suspended jail sentence yesterday.
Aidan Harman, of 29 Brian Dillon’s Park, Dillon’s Cross, Cork, admitted having the material at his home on two occasions.
Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan testified that gardaí acting on information from the paedophile investigation unit went to the home of the accused in March 2011 and seized, computers, phone and related equipment.
As a result of the analysis of these items, they found child pornography, namely 330 category one images showing children in sexual acts, two category one movies, and 307 category two images showing children with genitalia exposed.
Officers returned to Harman’s house on September 7, 2015, and found that he had 104 category one images and 119 category two images.
Det Sgt O’Sullivan said: “He is 75 now. He worked as a teacher all his life.”
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said that while the judge would obviously have a concern about seizures being made that were four years apart, the defendant was not prosecuted until 2018 in relation to both matters. The barrister said the accused made full admissions.
Mr O’Sullivan, submitted: “The probation service puts him at low risk but says he needs to engage with the Safer Lives programme.
“When interviewed by gardaí he found it very difficult to explain how he got into this kind of behaviour. He had co-operated with the probation service.
“He had this hanging over him for a long time now.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “This case is said this case is troubling because there was the discovery of material in 2011 and further disclosures in 2015.
“The second seizure of child pornography is a seriously aggravating factor. This has to be treated as a very serious matter.
“I have psychiatric report and there has been an amount of therapeutic work undertaken by the defendant and this is not easy. He has had a lot of therapy.
“The probation service have given this very full and careful attention and were particularly concerned about the length of time in the downloading. But he is now deemed a low risk of reoffending.”
The judge imposed a one-year sentence suspended on condition that he would remain under the direction of the probation service for the next 12 months.