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Offender had 135,555 child porn images

A MAN has been sentenced to 10 years for distributing and possessing one of the largest collections of child pornography ever uncovered.

James Clarke (58), of Devlis Cottage, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of knowingly distributing child pornography at Russell View Square, Tallaght, Dublin, on separate dates in August 2010.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on August 20, 2010.

The investigation also revealed that Clarke was also in email contact with a woman about keeping her and her 14-year-old daughter as sex slaves.

The 135,555 images and videos found on Clarke's computer included images of severe child sex abuse involving bondage, and bestiality.

Animals

The child pornography was organised into computer folders by themes and individuals. Clarke was using an internet site to offer the images to others.

Judge Patricia Ryan suspended two years of the term, on condition that he keeps the peace and is of good behaviour for three years on his release.

The sentence was backdated to when Clarke went into custody on in January 2012. He was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

Detective Garda Cathal Delaney told Fiona McGowan, prosecuting, at the sentence hearing last July, that the files found on Clarke's computer drives was "the largest collection of child porn" he had ever found up to that date.

He said the materials included sexual activity involving children with children, children with adults and children with animals. He said some of these victims were infants.

Clarke was using Gigatribe, a legitimate social networking site which he compared to Facebook, to distribute these images.

hnews@herald.ie


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