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Man caught with 100,000 child pornography images gets three years jail

A SOUTH Dublin man caught with more than 100,000 child pornography images has been jailed for three years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Bryan O’Byrne (32) of The Belfry, Stepaside told gardai he was happy he was caught because it forced him to stop viewing the images. He pleaded guilty to possession of 115,000 child pornography images at his home on December 9, 2008.

O’Byrne who had brain surgery in 2003 following a motorbike accident, told gardai he goes “into split personality” when he drinks and was drinking heavily when he started to view child pornography.

Detective Gda Barry Walsh told prosecuting counsel Elva Duffy BL that after receiving information from the Paedophile Investigation Unit, O’Byrne’s home was searched and a number of items including a computer, four hard drives, modem and memory stick were seized.

“Child porn content was found on three of the hard drives and included 3,200 child porn movies,” said Det Gda Walsh.

O’Byrne told gardai he had access to child porn and used a programme which enabled the child porn to be downloaded automatically.

He said he had never paid for images nor had he distributed them.

“He said he was trying to stop viewing child porn and stick to normal porn,” said Det Gda Walsh.

“He said he knew what he was doing was wrong and was glad he was found out as it forced him to stop,” Det Gda Walsh added.

Judge Patricia Ryan noted that on a five point scale, the images would be ranked highest or second highest in terms of their content. She described some of them as "sadism." Images included children as young as 12 months.

Defence counsel Philipp Rahn SC said that O’Byrne, who has seven previous convictions including theft and road traffic offences, suffers from epilepsy and had increased seizure activity recently due to the impending sentence. He had brain surgery in 2003 but still requires on-going treatment and medication.

Mr Rahn said that his client had a tragic family background and upbringing and was ostracised by his peers in school.

“He is psychologically fragile and he presents as a socially isolated person. He has sought to address his difficulties and his demons to turn his life around,” said Mr Rahn.

Judge Ryan ordered that O’Byrne’s medication by made available to him in prison.