Sunday 30 April 2017

Man caught with thousands of images child pornography depicting sexual violence and torture after leaving USB key in co-worker's van

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Stock picture

Fiona Ferguson

A man caught with thousands of images and videos of child pornography depicting sexual violence, torture and cruelty has been given a four year sentence with the final six months suspended.

Marcin Wojciechowicz (34) was caught after he accidentally left a USB memory key containing some of the material as well as a CV in his name in a co-worker's van.

Gardaí were alerted and during the course of the investigation found over 16,000 images and 300 videos classified as child pornography on his USB stick, mobile phone and laptop.

Prior to evidence in the case first commencing last July, prosecutor Elva Duffy BL, had warned those present in court that the evidence would be sensitive and distressing.

Wojciechowicz, with a former address at a hostel on Gardiner Street, Dublin has been in custody since his arrest. He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on a mobile phone on June 2, 2015.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard over 700 of the images on the laptop were at the highest level possible depicting sadism and cruelty to young children, including toddlers and infants.

Wojciechowicz told gardaí that he was an “investigator” trying to catch paedophiles and must have downloaded the images accidentally. He also initially claimed that gardai had “planted” the images.

The maximum sentence for possession of child pornography is five years and applies to cases of extreme volume and content, where there are also aggravating factors and an absence of mitigation.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that Wojciechowicz had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2010 but since his arrest he had responded well to medication and was now stable. She said he had been assessed as at moderate to high risk of re-offending.

Judge Greally said she believed this case fell into the lower end of the upper range of the spectrum.

She noted the volume of items containing sexual violence, sadism and cruelty to children.

Judge Greally imposed a sentence of four years with the final six months suspended taking into account his plea of guilty, lack of previous convictions and his psychiatric history.

She ordered that he continue to avail of psychiatric services and take his medication. She said that post release he had to engage with local psychiatric services in Poland for a period of one year. She ordered he give written details of the arrangements before being released.

Judge Greally ordered he be subject to the requirements of the sex offenders register.

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