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Man given 12 year sentence for sexual abuse of teenage boy

A MAN who produced and distributed images of his sexual abuse of a teenage boy has been given a 12 year sentence.

The 49-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, was caught downloading child pornography when gardai raided his home after receiving a tip off that he was offering to show a live stream on the internet of himself having sex with the boy.

Gardaí recovered over 52 images of the boy’s abuse which took place at the man’s house following a period of “grooming.” They also recovered an image of a five year old boy exposing his genitals as well as over 50,000 other child pornography images and 3,000 video files from his computer equipment.

The man had recorded his sexual abuse of the boy and distributed images via the internet using a programme to connect with others of a similar inclination.

He had categorised his online collection of 25,000 child pornography images into eight “levels” which he shared with others based on the “level” of the images they shared with him.

These images ranged from children exposing themselves at the lower levels to sexual interactions with adults or animals at the higher levels.

The man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sample counts of production and distribution of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual assault, anal rape and attempted anal rape of the 13 year old boy between September 2010 and July 2011.

He also pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography related to the image of the five year old boy.

The man is currently serving a four year sentence for possession of child pornography imposed last year. His sentence today on the remaining charges in the case had been delayed while legal matters were addressed.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said there were a limited number of cases in the Court of Criminal Appeal to give him guidance on sentencing in this area and his sentence had regard to those cases.

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Mr Justice Carney said he was taking into account the aggravating factors including the breach of trust, the effect on the victim and his family, the number of offences and the perpetuation of the offences on the internet for all time.

He noted the factors in favour of the accused such as his guilty plea, his absence of previous convictions and that none of the offences had any commercial benefit to him.

Mr Justice Carney imposed a 12 year sentence and suspended the final three years. He declared the man a sex offender as required by law and ordered 18 months post release supervision.

Detective Sergeant Tom Mahon told Úna Ní Raifeartaigh SC, prosecuting, that the bulk of the case related to the older boy and prior to the sexual abuse there was a period of “grooming” while the boy was aged between 12 and 13 years old.

In July 2011 gardai received information from both the UK and New Zealand police about pornographic material involving an Irish participant. There was an element of urgency to the information as the Irish man was offering to show a live stream of himself abusing the boy.

The UK police were able to trace the school uniform of the boy in the image to a particular town in Ireland. The New Zealand police had infiltrated a forum where people were exchanging child pornography and passed their information about the Irish participant onto gardai.

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