Tuesday 21 January 2020

Man who admitted using child porn when he was 15 had 39,792 images on laptop, court hears

He is due to be sentenced in November Photo: Stock image
He is due to be sentenced in November Photo: Stock image

Sonya McLean

A Slovakian national who admitted to gardaí that he first started downloading child pornography as a 15 year old boy will be sentenced next November.

Marian Minarik (40) who has been living in Ireland for the last 12 years, was caught after gardaí were contacted by Luxembourg authorities who had been investigating the downloading of images from a particular website.

Detective Garda Gary Moran said Minarik's home was searched and a laptop and a hard-drive were seized. A total of 39,792 images of child pornography and 404 videos of child pornography were later recovered.

Minarik immediately admitted to gardaí, when they arrived at his home, that he had downloaded child pornography.

He later told gardaí in interview that he first started downloading child pornography when he was 15 years old. He denied he had any compulsion to have sex with children but accepted that he sometimes got sexual gratification from viewing the images.

Minarik with an address at Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of child pornography on dates between March 2009 and July 2010. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Cormac Quinn remanded him on continuing bail to November 9 next for sentence and ordered a probation report for that date.

Gda Moran told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that 207 images of children with their genital area exposed, a video file of a girl masturbating on a webcam and video files of boys with their genitals exposed were discovered on the hard-drive.

He said 117 images of boys and girls engaging in both oral and penetrative sex with both children and adults were found on the laptop, along with 39,468 images of children with their genital area exposed.

The laptop also had 67 video files of children engaged in both penetrative and oral sexual acts with adults and other children, and of children masturbating on webcams. A further 337 video files showed children with their genital area exposed.

Minarik denied any involvement in the production and distribution of child pornography and Det Gda Moran confirmed that gardaí were satisfied that he only downloaded the images and videos for his own use.

He admitted that the last time he had downloaded images was the week before gardaí showed up at his home.

Det Gda Moran said that although Minarik's computer was seized in July 2010, it was not analysed until July 2016 due to a five to six year waiting list for analysis at the time. He added that there was no longer such a long waiting period.

He agreed with Paul Carroll SC, defending, that his client said his preference was to look at images of naked children and this claim was consistent with the online searches Minarik made.

Det Gda Moran accepted that Minarik had a girlfriend at the time of his arrest and Mr Carroll said his client was still in the same relationship.

He further accepted that Minarik travelled to Slovakia a number of times, before he was charged with the offence, to seek psychiatric help and always provided gardaí with his contact details.

Mr Carroll said his client's mother died when he was 14 years old and his brother and father struggled to deal with her death.

A forensic psychologist's report stated that there were concerns that Minarik had a lack of understanding and a lack of insight into his crimes. It recommended a specialist treatment programme. He is on medication for depression.

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