A 45-year-old man who admitted distribution of child sexual abuse images and boasted online about sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old never told gardaí he had since used an incorrect Irish version of his name to meet a woman online and stayed overnight at her home where she had two young children.
Owen Rea, of Westgate Road, Bishopstown, Cork, was given a sentence of two years, with the last six months suspended, on charges of knowingly distributing child sexual abuse images using electronic service provider, Telegram, for the purpose of distribution, publication, exportation, sale or show.
A second distribution charge in the same terms refers to another electronic service provider, KIK.
The third charge stated that on April 12, 2020, at an unknown location within the State he did knowingly produce text conversation using KIK and a Samsung Galaxy S7.
Detective Garda Sheena Dowling said this KIK conversation consisted of the defendant “boasting to other users that he had sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old child.”
The detective challenged the information in a report by a psychotherapist where the accused was described as developing an insight into his offending, victim empathy and growth emotional intelligence.
However, Det Garda Dowling said the accused was required to inform gardaí of any change of address or name. She said he failed to comply with this condition as he had changed his name to an incorrect version of his Irish name without notifying gardaí.
He then established a relationship with a woman whom he met online while presenting in the Irish version of his name. Det Garda Dowling said on occasions he stayed overnight with this woman who had two young children.
The woman became concerned when she saw a document belonging to the accused in which he was named as Owen Rea and not the very different Irish spelling by which she knew him.
She checked this name online and came across a news report of Owen Rea facing charges related to child pornography. She ended the relationship and immediately reported the matter to An Garda Síochána.
Emmet Boyle defence barrister said this breach was a separate matter and there should not be a "doubling" of the penalty on a matter which was not presently before the court.
Judge Helen Boyle said she would not regard this evidence related to change of name as an aggravating factor but she said it did reduce the level of mitigation.
Det Garda Dowling said there was a text conversation by the accused with another party detailing the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old child. The conversation itself is deemed child pornography, for the purpose of distribution, publication, exportation, sale or show.
The last charge was for having at his home at Westgate Road on a Samsung Galaxy S7 a total of 971 images which consisted of 409 images of sexual activity with a child and 562 images where a child’s genitalia was exposed/displayed and a total of 129 movies consisting of 104 videos of sexual activity with a child and 25 videos where a child’s genitalia was exposed/displayed.
Mr Boyle, defence barrister said the accused had been a productive member of society, educated to third level and he had a position of responsibility. However, he experienced burn-out in 2014, lost his marriage and changed the nature of his employment.
In terms of cooperation with the investigation, Mr Boyle said Owen Rea provided the Pin number for his phone, he provided names for Instagram accounts and that it was only “for a discrete period of time measuring 12 days” that he was involved in distribution of child pornography.