Sunday 25 February 2018

Man who accessed child pornography at Dublin hostel walks free from court

Iosif Antili leaving Dublin Circuit Court Pic: Collins Courts
Iosif Antili leaving Dublin Circuit Court Pic: Collins Courts

A Romanian man who admitted accessing child pornography at a Dublin hostel has avoided going to jail on condition that he continues to attend counselling.

Iosif Antili (41) of St Ignatius Avenue, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography on December 6, 2010 and January 13, 2011.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Mary Ellen Ring said there was no evidence that Antili had distributed any of the pornography.

She noted Antili has no previous offences and co-operated with gardaí throughout their investigations.

But Judge Ring said accessing child pornography was “not a victimless crime” and that the children in the images, although they would probably never been identified, had been abused.

She sentenced him to two and a half years in prison but suspended it in full on condition that he continues to attend counselling.

Garda Neil Woods told Tara Burns BL, prosecuting, that the abuse emerged after Antili's laptop went missing.

Antili went to the manager of the Dublin Budget Accommodation Hostel where he was staying and said his laptop had been stolen from his room.

Hostel manager Paula Fagan told gardaí that as she had known Antili for 18 months, she lent him her own personal laptop on December 6, 2010.

When he returned it to her on January 13, 2011, Ms Fagan noticed that her laptop had a new toolbar and a different browser.

Several internet sites had been accessed, including sites of pre-teen, schoolgirl and baby pornography.

Ms Fagan said when she checked the sites and saw pictures of naked children she was shocked and immediately rang gardaí. Gardaí then seized the laptop and found 89 illegal images.

On April 15, 2011, gardaí searched Antili's house and seized another Samsung laptop, containing 12 image files and three movie clips of child pornography.

Antili was arrested and said he had accessed adult movies and that images of children had popped up on the screen. He told gardaí he had no interest in children and had been involved in helping homeless children in Romania.

Gardaí said the images found on the computer showed young girls aged between 8 and 14, semi-naked or naked, with their genitalia exposed. The movie clip, which had been downloaded three times, showed a girl aged 10 giving oral sex to a man.

Justin McQuade BL, defending, said Antili entered an early guilty plea. He said his client was a single, quiet-living man who had a full-time job in a restaurant. He said he sent his wages home to support his family in Romania.

Mr McQuade said Antili is not on the garda radar, is “otherwise a model citizen” and is paying to attend therapy twice a month.

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