Former businessman who shared thousands of child pornography images jailed for two years
A former businessman who shared thousands of child pornography images with up to 20 online contacts has been jailed for two years.
Sean MacGiolla Deacair (56) of Carig Cuirte, Teach Sagard, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing child pornography at his former Temple Manor Close home in Dublin 12 on May 28, 2011.
He also pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography in the State on July 22, 2009 and March 1, 2010. He has no previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan said he was taking into account that the man has lost his business and his family because of his actions. The fact that MacGiolla Deacair did not profit from sharing the images offered slight mitigation, the judge said.
Judge Nolan imposed a two year term and ordered he be registered as a sex offender. The judge declined to impose a further supervision order, commenting that the sex offender’s register is supervision enough.
Detective Sergeant Joe Molloy said that a woman in Philadelphia received an email from a Hotmail account with six attached child porn images depicting prepubescent boys on July 22, 2009.
The woman notified The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which contacted Irish authorities.
Gardaí eventually tracked down the email account to an IP address held at Temple Manor Close and called to the premises with a search warrant on May 28, 2011.
Det Sgt Molloy told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that he and colleagues seized computers and found a handwritten web address in a diary.
MacGiolla Deacair, a former electrician, later revealed he had left a comment under a photo on a website in March 2010 and from then became involved in sharing child pornography via email.
He also confirmed he had sent six images in an attachment to the Philadelphia based email address.
Det Sgt Molloy told the court that garda forensics found 120 video files and 7,783 images depicting serious child pornography after examining MacGiolla Deacair’s computer “inbox”.
He said some of this material was copies of the same files.
There were also emails suggesting that MacGiolla Deacair was sharing material he had received.
The detective said he met MacGiolla Deacair in February 2014, explaining that there had been a delay in forensically analysing the seized items.
MacGiolla Deacair claimed he had thought distribution meant making and selling child pornography and that he wouldn’t have shared content had he known.
Det Sgt Molloy accepted when Damien Colgan SC, defending, put it to him that his client had had no contact with his wife or adult children since the start of the investigation.
He further accepted MacGiolla Deacair has had “alcoholic bouts”, suffered depression and has been suicidal.
The detective agreed MacGiolla Deacair told him he had been abused while at school.
MacGiolla Deacair, addressing the court, said he had “no words to describe the sense of shame and remorse” for his actions and the “anguish” he has caused his family.
Mr Colgan submitted to Judge Nolan that his client had completed a 19 month therapy course and asked that he be put on suicide watch if given a custodial sentence.
Judge Nolan acknowledged that MacGiolla Deacair’s life has been ruined but deemed this self inflicted.
He noted that this was not a “victimless crime” as “in some places in the world young boys, in this case, are being exploited, their lives are put in danger mentally and physically and their innocence is being destroyed”.