A four-time Kerry badminton champion paid women to access their children for his own “deplorable” sexual gratification, a court heard Thursday.
Timmy Duggan, (35), of Mountain Lodge, Annagh, Tralee, Co Kerry, originally from Moyvane, also tried to directly solicit sexual favours from young children by offering them lollipops and cash.
Duggan’s own barrister, Mark Nicholas, described his actions as “absolutely despicable”.
Duggan was previously returned for trial on 47 sexual offences against children, however the State accepted a plea to 22 offences ranging from child sexual assault, child sexual exploitation, inciting children to engage in a sexual act, possessing naked images of children and encouraging others, including the victim’s mothers, to produce “child pornography”.
The offences occurred at locations in Limerick and in Kerry on dates between 2015 and 2021.
A sentencing hearing at Tralee Circuit Court heard that Duggan’s downfall began while he was working as a supermarket manager in Limerick in 2016.
Gardaí were alerted after the father of two young girls discovered inappropriate messages Duggan had sent the girls via Snapchat.
Duggan voluntarily presented himself at a Garda station and admitted he had “groomed” the two innocent girls before asking them to send him naked images of themselves via their mobile phones.
Duggan went on to divulge further offences to gardaí which the court heard were “critical” to at least two of four separate Garda investigations into his sexual crimes against children.
On foot of Duggan’s disclosures, Gardaí arrested a Kerry mother who admitted taking naked photos of her young son and daughter and selling the images to Duggan.
The woman’s barrister told the sentencing hearing said the woman was psychologically and financially “vulnerable” after her partner died.
The barrister said the woman met Duggan on a dating app and was initially “selling herself” to Duggan for sex.
“She moved from selling herself to exploiting her children for financial gain. She will have to live with the stigma and burden of what she has done for the rest of her life,” the barrister said.
The woman, who sat through the hearing mostly with her head bowed downwards, was returned for trial on 26 counts but the state accepted her guilty pleas to seven counts of sexually exploiting her son and daughter to Duggan for money.
Duggan, who sat opposite the woman wearing a face mask, light blue jeans and a grey and black jumper, paid her more than €3,000 for a total of 19 naked images of her children, the court heard.
Gardaí discovered 19 individual electronic payments from Dugggan’s bank account to the woman’s account in amounts ranging from €50 to €300.
The woman’s children are in the care of Tusla, however she is receiving supervised visits with them.
The woman’s barrister said her two children have indicated to social workers that they want to have a relationship with their mother in the future.
The woman, in her 30s, recently met her children and gave a “full disclosure” of what she had done, the court heard.
Her barrister asked the court not jail her, saying prison “would not be in the best interests of justice or society” and a custodial sentence would “undo” her efforts to rehabilitate herself.
“What we are dealing with here is a very damaged and vulnerable individual," the barrister said.
Judge Elva Duffy said a psychological report had “concerns” the woman had shown a tendency to “minimise” her role in the offences against her children, and it noted that she had denied telling Gardaí that she had taken naked photos of her children.
The woman’s barrister told the judge the woman has admitted taking the images and selling them to Duggan.
He said the woman has since had another child with another man, they have separated, and the man has full custody of their child.
The court heard Timmy Duggan also admitted throwing a handwritten note out of a window of his car, at two young girls, as he drove past them, which offered them €50 to see their naked chests.
The girls took the note to their parents who in turn contacted gardaí, and Duggan was identified driving his “distinctive blue jaguar car” on CCTV images at a location in Kerry.
Gardaí discovered a number of similar handwritten notes as well as lollipops in Duggan’s car when they subsequently conducted a search of the vehicle.
Duggan also pleaded guilty to paying the mother of a young girl €400 to access her young daughter for his sexual pleasure.
The court heard he also admitted paying another €400 to a female sex worker for access to the same girl.
Duggan admitted showering the girl, sexually assaulting her, and inciting or inviting the girl to touch his erect penis.
He also admitted engaging in sex acts with the girl’s mother while watching the girl showering in the same room, in order to get sexual gratification from having the girl present.
Judge Duffy adjourned sentencing to next Monday.
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