Saturday 23 February 2019

Former Rose of Tralee escort jailed over child porn images

Stock image
Stock image

Ralph Riegel

A request for garda assistance from Welsh police over a child pornography investigation led to the conviction of a former Rose of Tralee escort.

Timothy 'Tim' Lynch (34), who was an escort at the famous Kerry festival a decade ago, was jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty before Cork Circuit Criminal Court to the distribution of vile images of child pornography.

Judge Sean O'Donnabhain was told that some of the images involved depicted adults engaged in sexual acts with infants.

Lynch of Oliver's Place, Kanturk, Co Cork pleaded guilty to a total of four charges.

These included one count of possessing child pornography and three counts of distributing such material.

The charges all related to dates in 2015 at the defendant's home at River Valley, Mallow, Co Cork.

Judge O'Donnabhain was told the investigation began when Welsh police contacted gardaí in early 2015 for assistance over a matter involving a UK national.

Welsh police were investigating a suspected child pornography matter, with the UK national having apparently been in contact with up to 40 different individuals.

This was done via an anonymous phone app called 'KIK'.

Gardaí, in turn, were able to identify Lynch after tracing an email used to create a special online account in the name of a user called 'Horny 2611'.

Detectives, on foot of a warrant, raided the defendant's north Cork home in April 2015.

The defendant's phone was seized and sent for analysis.

It determined that more than 200 images were on the device - with a garda admitting that the nature of some of the images involved was absolutely horrific.

Gardaí were able to determine that Lynch had shared 13 images with others on dates between February and April 2015.

Lynch was a former Rose of Tralee escort who now lived with his family.

Judge O'Donnabhain was told that Lynch pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, co-operated fully with gardaí, was deeply remorseful and had voluntarily gone for specialist counselling.

The court was told that Lynch was found by one analyst to be a vulnerable type of individual.

Defence counsel Donal O'Sullivan BL, asked for the court to be as lenient as possible with his client.

Judge O'Donnabhain noted that the defendant was described as a loner who was bullied at a young age and struggled on many levels, particularly with adult relationships.

However, he said the material involved was horrific with scenes of adults having sexual acts with babies and the serious nature of the offences had to be marked by a custodial sentence.

Lynch had distributed some of the offending material found by gardaí.

Judge O'Donnabhain imposed a three year prison sentence but agreed to suspend the final 18 months in light of the defendant's plea and co-operation with Gardaí.

Lynch will also be subject to the Probation and Welfare Service (PWS) after he gets out of prison.

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