Friday 22 June 2018

Shop manager (56) caught with 460 child porn images avoids jail

Fionnbarr Kennedy received a suspended sentence for possession of child pornography
Photo: Collins
Fionnbarr Kennedy received a suspended sentence for possession of child pornography Photo: Collins

Sonya McLean

A manager of a Dublin art supplies shop has avoided a jail term after gardaí were tipped off by a credit card company that he had bought child pornography online.

Fionnbarr Kennedy (56) was at work in M Kennedy and Sons when gardaí searched the premises and seized two phones and his laptop.

He accepted that the laptop was his own and nobody else had access to it. The computer was later analysed and 466 images retrieved through forensic processes from one of the hard drives. Nothing was found on either of the phones.

Detective Garda Michael Fitzgerald told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that 180 of these images depicted girls under 17 years of age engaged in sexual activity, while 280 were images of girls with their genitalia exposed. The remainder of the images were computer generated.

Kennedy, of Kingsmill Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of child pornography at Kennedy and Sons on Harcourt Street, Dublin , on July 27, 2010. He was sentenced to two and half years in prison which was suspended in full.

The court heard that due to a backlog at the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau the laptop wasn't analysed until 2015. Kennedy was interviewed again but made no admissions.

He was charged in June 2016 and initially requested a trial date but changed his plea to guilty last April. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan acknowledged the “considerable delay” in charging Kennedy before he described it as a serious crime, which he said “was not victimless”.

He accepted that Kennedy had not distributed the images for profit nor had he circulated them.

Bernard Condon SC, defending, said the lengthy delay in bringing the case to court meant that his client had since “moved on with his life”.

At the time of the search he was “going through a tough time” with a divorce, counsel said before he added that Kennedy has since re-married. His second wife had a child in 2014 and he has children from his previous marriage.

Mr Condon told Judge Nolan that in 2014 Kennedy took his current wife for a walk and “explained to her what had happened”.

He had since engaged with counselling and a report from a forensic psychologist concluded that he was regretful of his involvement.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News