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Co Clare 'loner' avoids jail after posting photos of 19 local teenage girls to porn site

Evan Meehan was ordered to seek professional help.

The man may be jailed unless he complies with orders from the court.
The man may be jailed unless he complies with orders from the court.
Image: PA Images/Empics

A JUDGE TODAY warned a 22-year-old Shannon man who uploaded 19 girls’ Facebook profile pictures to a pornographic site that he faces jail if he doesn’t comply with the directions of the court.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan told Evan Meehan “the reality is that there are people out there who you hurt and who you hurt seriously”.

Judge Durcan said that Meehan must receive professional assistance for issues he has to deal with.

Addressing Meehan, Judge Durcan said:

I am putting you on a particular course of action. I want to see that it is complied with and complied with seriously. If it is not, I will have no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence. It is a matter for you.

In the case, Meehan of Dernish Lawn, Shannon pleaded guilty to uploading 30 photos of local teenage girls to a pornographic site between October 2013 to the end of June 2014.

The 30 charges relate to 19 girls with 17 having Shannon addresses with two other girls living in the nearby villages of Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus.

All of the girls were Facebook friends of Meehan while most went to the same secondary school in Shannon as him.

Meehan acted alone in the crime and a number of the captions accompanying the photos described the girls engaging in various sexual acts with their fathers.

The offences took place during a period when Meehan was aged 19 and 20.

The offences came to light after a number of girls presented themselves to Shannon Garda Station on June 30th 2014.

Insp Tom Kennedy outlined the facts of the case to court today.

He said:

The girls found out what went on and they were very distressed and upset by it.

Insp Kennedy said: “Mr Meehan was identified as the person responsible. He was very co-operative with the gardai and took the photos off the system when he was asked to and obviously no further deviation has occurred.”

Insp Kennedy said Meehan has no previous convictions.

The inspector said:

“It was a comprehensive investigation. It is a very unusual case and we all learned a great deal about social media and the trepidations associated with its use .”

Introverted

A comprehensive Probation Report on Meehan was before the court today and his solicitor, Stiofán Fitzpatrick told the court:

“Mr Meehan was 19 at the time of the offences. He was someone who wasn’t extroverted. He was very much introverted and during his formative years in school, he would describe himself as being very much on his own and being a loner.”

Fitzpatrick said that Meehan dropped out of a third level ‘Energy’ course at the University of Limerick after his first year there.

He said that Mr Meehan has enrolled in an apprenticeship course at aircraft maintenance firm, Lufthansa Technik in Shannon.

Fitzpatrick said that Meehan has taken moves to address the underlying issues “that caused him to do something so foolish and so stupid”.

He said:

When Mr Meehan was confronted by gardai, he made full admissions and made no effort to justify or hide anything. He co-operated fully.

Mr Fitzpatrick said that Mr Meehan has two sisters and a brother and he lives with his parents in Shannon.

He said: “His parents were very shocked by the whole thing and it has had a significant impact on the family in their neighbourhood where they have been shunned to a certain degree.

He said: “Like all small communities, certain opinions are formed and that has been difficult for them. He has been supported on all occasions by his father who has accompanied Mr Meehan to court every time. Mr Meehan has the full support of his family.”

Cyberbullying stock Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Counselling

Fitzpatrick said that Meehan has attended counselling sessions.

Judge Durcan said that Meehan’s total co-operation with gardai and having no previous convictions are very commendable.

After reading the Probation Report, Judge Durcan added: “But it does seem to me that there are issues that this young man has to deal with a very positive way and definite way.

Dealing with these issues requires professional intervention. I am not happy to let this off on the basis of a Probation Bond.

Judge Durcan said that is happy to adjourn it for three months to allow that professional intervention take place.

Judge Durcan adjourned to case to 3 May and said that he would like victim impact statements from the injured parties before the court on that date.

Comments have been closed for reasons.

Read: Report recommends that ‘revenge porn’ and ‘upskirting’ are made criminal offences >

Read: ‘I will hunt you down and find you’: Meet the New York solicitor who’s tackling revenge porn >

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Gordon Deegan

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