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Man convicted on child porn reported a similar offence

A DUBLIN man who was caught in possession of child pornography and had previously reported the same offence to gardai while working as a computer repair man, has been given a suspended sentence.

Thomas Fennell (42), of Oatfield Avenue, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the possession of 250 images of child pornography at his home on June 6, 2007.

As an employee of Compustore, he had reported to the authorities at least one incidence of child pornography that he had found on computers he was repairing, the court was told.

The court heard there were 20 female subjects in the images which were between the ages of nine to 17 and exposing their genitalia.

Judge Tony Hunt imposed a two-year sentence, which he suspended on strict conditions for four years including that Fennell undergo two years' probation supervision, attend all appointments and attend for counselling therapy as directed.

He ordered that Fennell permit gardai to have reasonable access to any address where he is residing and also ordered the destruction of all material seized by gardai.

Garda Alan Douglas told Melanie Greally, prosecuting, a warrant was issued and Fennell's home was searched on June 5, 2007.





Laptops

He said when gardai got to the house, they knocked on the door for 10 minutes but there was no answer so they broke a window and Fennell then came downstairs to let them in.

Fennell showed them to a box room where a PC and three laptops were seized. Following analysis in December of that year, 250 images were found on one of the computers.

He was arrested and interviewed in Ronanstown Garda Station where he accepted the images were of child pornography.

Fennell accepted the images were of females under 17, that some of the children had not yet developed and that he went back to view the images a second time.

Garda Douglas told Tony McGillicuddy, defending, that Fennell made no attempt to stop the investigation, never sought a solicitor and had acknowledged he had been very stupid.

He told the court Fennell had no previous convictions and had never come to the attention of gardai before.

Mr McGillicuddy said that when Fennell worked as a computer repair man in Compustore he reported that he had found pornography on machines he was fixing.

He said that after Fennell was made redundant the previous year, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands and had fallen prey to the very thing he had reported to gardai.





Images

Mr McGillicuddy said Fennell acknowledged his stupidity. He told Judge Hunt none of the subjects of the images were engaging in any "sexual activity".

Judge Hunt noted in imposing sentence that Fennell came from a decent family, had a significant work history and no previous convictions.

He said the images were "probably lower down the scale" in that they did not depict actual sexual activity and noted there was no evidence of file sharing.

hnews@herald.ie


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