Saturday 23 March 2019

'Naturist' jailed for having 80,000 child pornography images

Convicted: Cynan Rees had the images and videos on hard drives at his home. Photo: Cork Courts
Convicted: Cynan Rees had the images and videos on hard drives at his home. Photo: Cork Courts

Ralph Riegel

A computer worker who claimed to be a naturist was jailed for 18 months after gardaí, acting on an Interpol tip-off, found almost 80,000 images of child pornography stored on a series of hard drives at his home.

Cynan Rees (55) was jailed as Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin described some of the images as "reprehensible".

When gardaí arrived to search Rees' Cork home on May 1, 2014, he initially told them the large number of nude photos found on hard drives was because of his interest in naturism.

However, an analysis of what Detective Garda Sean Minihan told Cork Circuit Criminal Court was "a colossal" amount of image files eventually revealed almost 80,000 images of child pornography.

Interpol contacted gardaí in September 2013 in respect of a specific internet site.

An analysis of a number of hard drives seized by gardaí from the defendant's home revealed a total of 78,800 child pornographic images and videos.

Of those, 2,280 images and 483 videos were found to be classified as category one - the most serious form of child pornography depicting young children engaged in sex acts with adults.

Rees, of 'The Reesidence', Old Belmont, Rochestown, Cork, pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of child pornography.

The court was told Rees is a single man who works in the IT sector. He had no previous convictions and co-operated fully with the Garda investigation after the seizure of the hard drives.

Imelda Kelly BL, for the State, said the analysis of the total amount of images involved took some time.

"There were 78,800 images of child nudity where the genital area is exposed. There were 2,280 images of children in sexual activity with adults or other children. And there were 360 videos of child nudity and 483 videos of children in sexual activity with adults or other children."

Defence counsel Ray Boland BL said his client co-operated with gardaí and now wanted counselling for the issues involved.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said it was an aggravating factor that so many images were involved.

He also noted the number of images which fell into the most serious category.

"They are the most reprehensible. I cannot ignore the seriousness of the possession in this case," he said.

He imposed a three-year prison sentence but agreed to suspend the final 18 months.

Rees must also complete a counselling course with Forensic Psychological Services Ireland.

Irish Independent

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