Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man caught with child pornography for a third time jailed for three years

Fiona Ferguson

A 36-YEAR-OLD man who has been repeatedly caught with child pornography has been given a four year sentence with the final year suspended for an extended time on strict conditions.

Judge Martin Nolan had adjourned sentencing Barry Watters last week due to problems with sex offenders legislation which restricted the length of a post release supervision order.

Watters has two previous convictions for possession of child pornography in 2008 and 2010 and reoffended on each occasion within a number of months.

James McCullough BL, defending, had indicated that Watters wished to undergo post release supervision as part of his re-integration into society.

Judge Nolan today imposed the four year sentence and suspended the final year for an extended period of two years on strict conditions.

Watters is to remain under Probation Service supervision for two years following his release and obey all their directions including attending for assessment if required.

He ordered that Watters not possess any images of children and have no direct or indirect contact with any child under the age of 18 years old.

Judge Nolan said he was extending the period of suspension of the final year of the sentence to two years by reason of the nature of the crime and because he felt Watters required supervision.

Waters will remain on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period under statute.

Watters pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of possession of child pornography on a USB key, in printed form, on a mobile phone and a memory card at his former rented accommodation in Ongar, Dublin 15 on December 7, 2011.

He no longer lives at the address and has been in custody since his arrest last December.

The majority of the 81 child pornography images seized by gardai in this case were high quality “anime” cartoons depicting Asian children.

Mr McCullough said Watters, who has intellectual difficulties, had been “vilified” in the media and subjected to “continuous and intrusive” attention.”

“He is on a roundabout of offending where despite his efforts he has been unable to settle down and address his problems in a peaceful and uninterrupted way,” said Mr McCullough.

He said Watters understands he has serious difficulties and needs help to overcome them.

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