A serial possessor of child pornography who continued to view images of underage girls after being investigated by gardaí has been jailed for five years.
Adrian Savage (aged 57) of Bolton Court, Bolton Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of possession of child pornography at various locations in Dublin on March 8, 2016.
Savage also pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography at Central Internet Cafe, Dublin 2, on December 24, 2017.
Addressing the court, Savage said that no one “is more conscious than I of the damage done by sexual abuse in our society”.
“To say that I am ashamed is not to even reach the tip of the iceberg.”
He said that there could never be a justification for the possession of “this material”.
Savage said that “spurious links” were made in the media relating to what was done online and what was done in real life. He said he had “never committed an offence against a man, woman or child”.
He asked to receive help this time rather than just punishment.
Garda Alan O'Toole told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that in March of 2016, Savage regularly attended an internet cafe on Cavendish Road, Dublin, and used a computer at the back of the address where no one could see the screen.
Gda O'Toole said he was noticed by a garda who knew Savage and who spoke to staff at the internet cafe. They attempted to view the browser history of the computer only to discover it had been cleared.
On the following day, while Savage was using the computer, staff used a facility by which they could view a computer currently in use and saw he was viewing a sexually explicit video of a young child. Gardaí observed he was also downloading items onto USB sticks.
Upon his arrest, gardaí discovered 15 USB sticks on his person which contained images and videos of child pornography. A search of his address uncovered a black binder which contained over 90 A4 images of child pornography locked in a filing cabinet.
In interview with gardaí, Savage said he had never touched a child. He said he did not have a sexual attraction to children, but admitted having an attraction to teenage girls.
Detective Garda Cathal McNamara told Mr Collins that on Christmas Eve the following year, a staff member in a different internet cafe saw that Savage was viewing images of naked young girls. He had four USB keys on his person and told gardaí he was downloading “images of underage girls”.
While being driven back to the garda station after being arrested, Savage said: “I have never hurt anyone, it is just an addiction I have.”
Savage has eight previous convictions, all of which are for possession of child pornography.
Det. Gda McNamara agreed with Philip Rahn BL, defending, that there was no suggestion of his client distributing, sharing, paying for or creating the child pornography.
Judge Martin Nolan said the most troubling aspect of the case was Savage's history. He noted that even when he was investigated for the earlier matters he continued on course and offended again.
Judge Nolan said he accepted Savage was “a pretty sad individual” who seemed unable to stop himself from committing crimes. He said that at this point in his life he could not be deterred from his behaviour.
He sentenced Savage to five years imprisonment for the offences in 2016. He also sentenced him to two years imprisonment for the later offence to run consecutive to the other term of imprisonment but suspended it in its entirety on strict conditions.