Friday 21 September 2018

Former member of Garda Reserve avoids jail term over child porn images

Stock photo
Stock photo

Tom Shiel

A health care assistant and member of the Garda Reserve has avoided a jail term after he was handed a suspended sentence on child pornography charges.

Hugh Condren (48), with an address at Brookville Avenue, Swinford, Co Mayo, appeared before the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar yesterday.

He had pleaded guilty at an earlier court to possessing the pornographic images, which had been uploaded to his dropbox.

Detective Garda Martin Mitchell told yesterday's sentencing hearing that 109 images in total were involved.

Some of the images showed children involved in sex acts with other children, while others showed children being exploited by males and children as young as four being sexually abused by adult males.

Abuse

Gardaí were tipped off to the dropbox material, which was later traced to Condren, by the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Des Dockery, senior counsel, told the court the accused had resigned from both the health service and the Garda Reserve.

Counsel added that his client accepted responsibility for his offending behaviour and now had gained a good insight into the gravity of such behaviour and the child exploitation it promotes.

Mr Dockery said the number of images involved was modest and were accessed for a short three-month period at a time when the accused had "lost his way in a temporary catastrophic fashion".

Counsel continued that the accused's mother and father, as well as his husband, were in court to support him.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said he was prepared to accept that events happened at a time when the accused had lost his way and that he has now disengaged from such activity.

The judge said that notwithstanding the seriousness of the offence, he was satisfied there was a low risk of re-offending.

He then imposed a two-year prison sentence, fully suspended on condition the accused continues to engage with a psychiatrist and obeys her directions.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News