Tuesday 15 October 2019

Man is jailed for 18 months for distributing child pornography

Images on phone included photos of adults engaged in sexual activities with babies

A 35-year-old North Corkman has been jailed for 18 months after he pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography, including images of adults engaging in sexual activities with babies.

Timothy Lynch of St Oliver's Place, Kanturk, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing and three counts of distributing child pornography from his former home at Finisk, Rivervalley, Mallow in 2015.

Det Garda Niall Ruddy told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the offences came to light after gardai were contacted by Welsh police who were investigating a British citizen for child pornography offences. Welsh police were tracking the activities of the British citizen who was contacted by 40 different people using an anonymous phone app called Kik and amongst those who contacted him was Lynch.

Police were able to identify Lynch, who used the pseudonym Horny2611, by tracing the email address that was used to create the Kik account and gardai raided his family home in Mallow on April 24, 2015.

Det Garda Ruddy said that gardai, in the course of their search, found some 210 images on Lynch's phone, some of which he described as "horrific", depicting adults engaging in sexual acts with babies.

Lynch was actively seeking and swapping child pornography at the time and they established he had shared a total of 13 images with three others on three dates in February and April 2015, he said.

Asked by state barrister Imelda Kelly BL what he knew about Lynch, Det Garda Ruddy said he did not know much about him but claimed he was a former Rose of Tralee escort who lived with his mother and brother.

Defence barrister Donal O'Sullivan BL pleaded for leniency for his client and pointed out that he had co-operated with gardai from the start of their investigation and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. Mr O'Sullivan said that his client had lived with his brother and mother in Mallow but he had since moved with them to live in Kanturk and that he was a loner and his brother was his only friend.

He said that while his client had indeed distributed images, the number was relatively small and there was never any question of him ever seeking money for the images but was instead just sharing them.

Lynch had gone for counselling with Dr Gillian Moore-Groarke who said he was a vulnerable type of person and did not believe he was at risk of re-offending, said Mr O'Sullivan as he pleaded for leniency.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin noted Dr Moore-Groarke's report and he said the background and personality profile of Lynch matched many of those coming before his court on child pornography charges.

"He was isolated, a loner, a dependent type of personality, may have been bullied at a younger age, struggled to maintain relationships, never had a relationship with a girl, he struggled at many levels."

However, he had also to take account of the charges, including the distribution ones and the fact that Lynch had shared truly horrific material involving adults engaging in sexual acts with babies. He had deliberately involved himself with like-minded people by sharing images and, even with a guilty plea to the distribution charge, he had to mark the seriousness of the offending with a custodial term.

He sentenced Lynch to three years in jail but suspended the final 18 months in the light of his guilty plea on condition he would remain under supervision of the Probation Service upon his release from prison.