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Accountant appeals child porn sentence

AN accountant jailed for possession of child pornography at a Dublin camera shop is appealing his conviction and sentence.

Michael Nolan (59) was given eight months in prison after a judge found him guilty of having 17 photographs of naked children at the Grafton Street store.

The images of children as young as 10 were found encrypted on a memory stick Nolan had on him when gardai investigated his activities in the shop.

Staff had raised the alarm after becoming suspicious of pictures he was printing off. Nolan, a divorced father-of-one from England, had denied the memory stick was his, saying he had "found it in a library".

Nolan, with an address at the time at Charlemont Street, has brought appeal proceedings challenging the decision of Judge Victor Blake, who found him guilty at Dublin District Court in June. His case is expected to be heard in the coming months.

Nolan, who had defended himself in the original trial, was convicted of possession of child pornography at Spectra Photo on Lower Grafton Street on August 3, 2008. As well as jailing him, Judge Blake registered him as a sex offender.





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During the trial, Nolan claimed gardai became "excited" to have him in custody because he came from the same Leicestershire town as missing Madeleine McCann.

Garda Sgt Simon Murphy said he went to the store on August 3 and staff pointed out the accused as "allegedly printing off pictures of young children in different degrees of undress".

Nolan denied having any illegal photographs and the garda seized the USB memory stick he had, as well as adult pornographic material the accused had in his bag.

On cracking 17 password-encrypted files on the memory stick, Detective Garda Martin Hogan, of the computer crimes investigation unit, found all were images of girls aged between 10 and 14 year in naked and semi-naked poses. The files had been created and last accessed on August 2.

He placed the severity of the images in the second-lowest of five categories. Nolan was subsequently arrested at a hostel he was staying in.

When interviewed by gardai, he said he had found the memory stick in a library and had used it. Judge Blake directed immediate medical attention and a psychiatric assessment of Nolan in custody. He had no previous convictions.

aphelan@herald.ie


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