Tuesday 25 September 2018

Mum-of-three avoids prison after sending child porn clip on WhatsApp to friend

Jadesola Agbalade (51), formerly of Deerhaven Avenue, Clonee, Dublin. Pic Collins Courts.
Jadesola Agbalade (51), formerly of Deerhaven Avenue, Clonee, Dublin. Pic Collins Courts.

Sarah-Jane Murphy and Isabel Hayes

A mother-of-three who forwarded a child pornography clip, showing an infant being raped by a man, has avoided jail.

The recording showed a child, aged between two and five years old being raped by a man, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Jadesola Agbalade (51) who is in temporary accommodation at Main Street, Ashbourne, Meath, pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly distributing child pornography on July 20, 2016.

Today, Judge Karen O'Connor wholly suspended a two-and-a-half-year sentence, noting Agbalade said she wouldn't have forwarded the clip if she had understood the seriousness of the offence.

“An explanation was given and is not disputed. This appears to be a once off, an instance of very poor judgement,” she said.

Judge O'Connor said it was an unusual case in that there was only one clip of child pornography, but noted the material was of a very serious nature.

She said a psychological report stated there was no sinister motive on Agabalade's part and that the defendant's life revolved around her family and her church.

However the judge said the clip should not have been forwarded because child pornography is a crime perpetrated on vulnerable children often in the poorest parts world.

Garda Enda Ledwith told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, that he arrested a man in relation to credit card fraud in July 2017.

When this man's phone was investigated the child pornography clip forwarded by Agabalade was discovered.

Gda Ledwith said the recording showed a child between the age of two and five being raped by a man.

When they phoned the number that had forwarded the clip, Agbalade answered and agreed to meet gardai at Blanchardstown shopping centre.

She handed over her phone and admitted receiving the child pornography clip and forwarding it.

The defendant told gardaí she also sent the clip to a female friend in order to warn her “not to leave her young children with her boyfriend”.

Gda Ledwith agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that Agbalade “didn't understand the enormity of the situation” when she was interviewed.

Mr Bowman said it was a “remarkably unusual” case in that Agablade hadn't profited from distributing the clip and was not involved in its generation.

The court heard no further material was found on two phones owned by the defendant.

He said she is a single mother, with no previous convictions, and is originally from Nigeria, who came to Ireland in 2001.

There were “no concerns” regarding Agbalade's fitness as a mother, he said. The court heard she has one teenage child living with her and two adult children who are in university.

“She will now be a sex offender and as a mother, that is a significant stigma in the community,” he said.

Judge O'Connor noted the accused cooperated with gardai, pleaded guilty at an early stage and was remorseful.

She said the psychological report showed Agbalade had significant difficulties in her own upbringing and her verbal comprehension was low.

She directed that Agbalade remain on the sex offenders register for a period of five years.

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