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First-aider jailed after asking boy (12) for sex

A former Dublin-based first-aider who asked a 12-year-old boy for sex after showing him graphic child porn images on his phone has been jailed for three years.

Patrick Lenihan (44), who has been living in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, for the past seven years, pleaded guilty at the county's circuit court yesterday to three charges.

He admitted an offence under the Child Trafficking Act of inviting or coercing a child to engage in an indecent act on October 23, 2010.

He also admitted possession of child pornography on his mobile phone on the same date in Ballyshannon and possession of child pornography on a second phone on December 16, 2012.

Donegal Town Circuit Court heard that Lenihan had approached four boys during the October 2010 incident, showed them child porn pictures on his phone and invited a 12-year-old boy to go for "a quickie".

Following a garda investigation, 60 images of child sexual abuse were found on Lenihan's phone, including scenes of child rape, Patricia McLaughlin, prosecuting for the DPP, told Judge Keenan Johnson.

Another 20 images were found during a follow-up garda investigation on a second phone, Gda Martin McCarron told the court.

"He said he was aroused when he saw pictures, or showed them to boys, and he was aroused when he watched boys in swimming pools," said Gda McCarron.

ENCOUNTER

The officer added that he had known Lenihan through his attendance at Neighbourhood Watch meetings.

He also said the accused was in custody for breaching his bail conditions.

"He wrote a note to a 15-year-old boy and offered to meet him for a sexual encounter," said the officer in evidence of the incident which led to his bail being revoked.

Defence barrister Peter Nolan said London-born Lenihan's marriage had now broken up and his home had been attacked on a number of occasions as a result of the charges. He said Lenihan, who had moved to Balbriggan to work with his Irish-born father after leaving school in England, had been a first-aider with the Order of Malta in Dublin and moved to Donegal seven years ago.

A psychiatric report showed Lenihan was a paedophile who was attracted to boys aged between 10 and 15, said Mr Nolan.

The barrister said Lenihan's behaviour was "ridiculous" in that he approached boys "on the street and in broad daylight" and that while he would be jailed there was no proper form of treatment available for paedophiles.

The judge acknowledged that Lenihan was abused as a minor and had Klinefelters syndrome which can cause senility and learning impairment.

He also ordered that Lenihan be jailed in Arbour Hill, which has special facilities to deal with sex offenders. And he ordered that Lenihan, on his release, be supervised by the Probation Service "for the rest of his life".

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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