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'Truly dreadful': Dublin man (20) jailed for possession of graphic child abuse images

Over 5,000 images and 328 videos were found on the man’s computer during a Garda raid of his Dublin home.
May 11th 2018, 12:35 PM 27,796 70

Warning: Details in this article may be disturbing to readers.

A YOUNG DUBLIN man caught with graphic child pornography showing the sadomasochistic rape and torture of a baby girl has being jailed for 15 months.

Gardaí found 5,919 images and 328 video files on two laptops and a phone belonging to Conor Emmet (20) after an intelligence operation involving the FBI and Europol.

The garda said the graphic material was on the upper end of seriousness in such cases. At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this morning, Judge Karen O’Connor suspended the last 15 months of a two-and-a-half year prison sentence.

Detective Garda Brid Wallace from the Cyber Crime Bureau said the images and movies spanned all categories of seriousness, including video files showing the rape and torture of an 18-month-old girl.

Emmet, of North Way Estate, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty to possessing the digital images and movies on two laptops at his home on 17 May 2016. He has no previous convictions.

In sentencing Emmet Judge O’Connor said this was no means a victimless crime and must be taken very seriously by the court. But she noted his early plea, the fact that he is a very good student, has been involved in charity work and has engaged in intensive rehabilitation.

Detective Wallace told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that one video showed an 18-month-old girl being sexually abused by a masked female. The court heard that this child has since been identified in Thailand and taken to safety.

“She has no recollection of the abuse but suffered serious internal damage and will not be in a position to have children when she is older,” Wallace said.

Wallace told Cooney that gardaí also found an interactive book called “Welcome to Paedophilia Handbook” on Emmet’s computer.

“This included sections entitled ‘how to handle police and the public if things go wrong’, ‘how to have sex with kids in safe and rewarding ways’ and ‘hunting season’”, Wallace said.

A garda memo of interviews stated that he had first accessed child porn when he was aged 16.

Tara Burns SC, defending, said Emmet has done great work to overcome what was obviously a sickness.

“There is no other way to explain this as it is truly and seriously dreadful,” she said.

Burns handed in several letters to the court, which included letters from the defendant, his parents and a family friend.

“My client is from an extraordinarily good family, and has parents that have supported him throughout because he is a kind, caring and loving person,” she said.

Burns said that representatives from One in Four, a victim support group with whom Emmet has completed a programme, said he had made honest disclosures in relation to his behaviour.

She said Emmet told a psychiatrist attached to this programme that he was “looking at it (the material) because it interested me”.

Burns said the defendant did very well at school, completed Gaisce awards, and now volunteers at a charity shop.

“He stepped off the precipice and has broken his parent’s hearts,” she said.

The court previously heard that Emmet came to garda attention when the FBI began monitoring a Tor network called “playpen” after arresting an individual in America.

The FBI passed this user’s and other Irish users’ IP addresses to Europol, who sent them to gardaí at the Online Child Exploitation Unit.

Gardaí raided Emmet’s home in May 2016 and seized two laptops and a mobile phone. The defendant admitted during the search he had accessed child porn.

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Sarah-Jane Murphy

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