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Thursday 8 December 2016

Irishman jailed over child porn at Amsterdam airport

Isabel Conway

Published 03/03/2010 | 05:00

An Irishman caught with hardcore child pornography at a Dutch airport after arriving on a flight from Thailand was yesterday sentenced to eight months in jail by a judge who called the material "shocking and disgusting".

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The 68-year-old Dubliner, only named in court by his first name and initials, had to be moved to another Dutch prison because fellow inmates in Haarlem Jail had threatened to kill him after they found out that he was being held for possession of child pornography.

The Court at Schiphol East Oude Meer heard that customs officers at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport discovered five DVDs in the accused man's hand luggage.

They were described by public prosecutor Marjanne Eising as among the most hardcore child porn on the market, and featuring shocking images using girls as young as seven.

The man was at Amsterdam's airport as a transfer passenger going on to Dublin on January 17 and was arrested as he left the baggage hall having missed his onward Aer Lingus connection.

A widower, he lives with his daughter and her family in a village on the outskirts of Dublin and has a part-time job delivering medicines.

In a letter read by Judge C Candido, his daughter spoke of the family's shock and dismay on learning of her father's arrest. He has a heart condition and they were concerned for his health, she added.

Thailand

The accused is highly respected by all who know him and has many friends, his daughter told the court, appealing for leniency. Her father had been widowed 11 years ago and the following year a friend introduced him to Thailand. Since then he has made 10 trips.

His Dutch lawyer said he made a foolish error but it was not abnormal for older men to enjoy holidays in Thailand where age was not a barrier making it "enticing to go there and have a very good holiday enjoying the company of adult women".

The Dublin man, who is short and white-haired, said: "All my life I was careful I have never done anything wrong before and I am very sorry, I made a very bad mistake".

He said that he was disgusted at the idea of anyone having sex with children.

Admitting that he liked to look at pictures of naked young women, he told how he was approached in a bar in Pattaya the night before his holiday ended and shown a pile of DVDS and asked if he was interested in buying them.

He said he looked at the cover of one showing a naked young woman and agreed to buy them because he was "a bit tipsy".

He claimed that he had no idea that the DVDS contained any child pornography.

The gardai searched the accused man's Dublin home for child pornography but found none there.

The Judge ruled that he had served four months of an eight-month sentence and suspended the remaining four because he had no previous convictions.

Irish Independent

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