Saturday 18 November 2017

Sex offender appears in court for failing to provide gardaí with current address

Kenneth Powell. Photo: Collins Courts.
Kenneth Powell. Photo: Collins Courts.

Declan Brennan and Sonya McLean

A sex offender who has served two years in prison for sharing pornographic images has appeared before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for failing to provide gardaí with a current address.

Kenneth Powell (49) was registered a sex offender when he was jailed by Judge Patricia Ryan in October 2014 and as such had to provide gardaí with an address when he was released from prison.

Powell previously of Bessborough Avenue, North Strand, Dublin was sentenced to three years with the final year suspended after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of child pornography at his home in March 2011.

The man he shared the images with, Kevin Bowes (63) of Markievicz House, Townsend Street, Dublin had pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in his home and also to intimidating a witness at Markievicz House on July 12, 2011. He received the same sentence as Powell.

The men were found with a total of 92 images depicting children engaged in sexual activity with each other and with adults. The boys and girls depicted were aged from under 10 and up to 17 and some of the images showed young teenage girls dressed in school uniforms.

The offences came to light after Bowes accidentally sent an image of a naked 12-year-old girl to a female acquaintance, who reported it to gardaí. Bowes later told this woman he would cut her throat if she didn’t drop the charges.

Judge Ryan had ordered that both men be registered as sex offenders and that they comply with the directions of the Probation Service upon their release from prison.

Today Philip Rahn BL, defending told Judge Ryan that his client had been signing on and living in a homeless shelter since he was released from prison.

Counsel said the shelter was later closed down and his client was rendered homeless.

Powell was then brought before the District Court and convicted of failing to notify the gardaí of his current address and the State was now applying to have the suspended portion of his sentence re-activated.

Mr Rahn said his client intended to appeal this conviction to the Circuit Court.

Judge Ryan remanded the case back to the District Court for hearing tomorrow and said she could not consider reactivating the balance of Powell's sentence until his appeal was dealt with.

 Detective Inspector Michael Cryan told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that in January 2011 Bowes inadvertently sent an image to Carol Anne Montgomery, who he knew. The image was captioned "She's 12, she's 12".

The woman brought the image to gardaí and in March 2011 they went to Bowes' flat and seized three mobile phones. Gardaí found thousands of texts sent between Bowes and a man named in the phone as “Kinky Ken” or “Master Ken”.

Gardaí linked this telephone number to Powell. Some of the texts were lurid in detail and Powell talked about abusing children in 39 messages, the court heard.

The following July Bowes threatened Ms Montgomery, telling her through the door of a flat: "I will cut your throat if you don't drop the charges". He also said: "Tell her she has to pass my door on the way out and I'll slit her throat".

Ms Montgomery said that because of the threats she slept with a spade beside her bed and an iron bar in the sitting room and she stopped walking her dogs in a neighbourhood park for fear of meeting Bowes.

Powell admitted a separate charge of sending an indecent message by telephone on February 14, 2011. He had telephoned Child Fund Ireland, a charity which allows people to sponsor children in the developing world, and made obscene comments to the volunteer staff manning the telephones.

Powell told one woman that he was “throbbing” and that she had “beautiful nipples”. He also made a slobbering noise down the phone. He rang three times.

Det Insp Cryan said that the volunteers had found the calls particularly disturbing. Judge Ryan imposed a sentence of four months for this offence, to be served concurrently.

Powell was previously convicted of harassment in 2000, criminal damage and intoxication in 2008 and shoplifting of a bottle of wine in 2013.

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