Friday 9 December 2016

Man used daughter (13) to make child porn for 'simply a bit of fun'

Ruaidhri Giblin

Published 23/10/2015 | 13:18

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

A Meath-man jailed for using his 13-year-old daughter to make child pornography, which he did not see as wrong and said was “simply a bit of fun”, has had his sentence reduced by two years on appeal.

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The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 19 offences of sexual assault, producing child pornography and allowing a child to be used in child pornography on dates between May 2010 and April 2010.

He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Judge Martin Nolan on July 1 2013.

The man successfully appealed his sentence through his barrister, John Noonan Bl, on grounds that his offending was not on the highest level. The Court of Appeal resentenced him today to nine years imprisonment with the final two suspended.

Speaking on behalf of the three-judge court, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said the victim in this case and object of the child pornography was the man's daughter aged between 13 and 14.

Mr Justice Mahon said the man's wife discovered pornographic photographs of her daughter on a digital camera in their home and alerted the gardaí.

In the course of searching the home, gardaí found 1,150 images and 74 videos, a number of which also depicted the man simulating sexual intercourse with the victim.

Mr Justice Mahon said the man did not see anything wrong with what had occurred and said it was “simply a bit of fun”. The upstairs of the house had been converted into a “dress-up room”.

He pleaded guilty at a relatively late stage, Mr Justice Mahon said, but this saved the young woman from having to give evidence.

Mr Justice Mahon said it was not possible to describe the case as anything less than extremely serious.

There was a gross breach of trust by the man, the abuse took place over a prolonged period or time, was premeditated, systematic and rendered more serious by the fact it was recorded presumably for further use later.

He said the sentence of 11 years indicated that the Circuit Court judge viewed the offending as being on the higher end of the scale although the judge had stated that it wasn't the most serious case to come before the courts.

It appeared to have been accepted, Mr Justice Mahon said, that the offending was not on the higher level and the Court of Appeal agreed with that assessment.

Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, resentenced him to nine years imprisonment with the final two years suspended.

He was required to enter into his own bond of €100 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour while in prison and for three years post release.

He was also required to undertake the Building Better Lives sex offenders program.

When asked if he undertook to be so bound, he said “I will judge”.

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