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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
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Matthew Horan

Man who exploited young girls ordered not to take part in computer programming course

Matthew Horan was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years with the final two years suspended.

A DUBLIN MAN sentenced earlier this year for possession of child pornography and coercing young girls to send him sexually graphic images has been ordered not to take part in a computer programming course.

Matthew Horan (26) was sentenced last January to nine-and-a-half years with the final two years suspended. Judge Martin Nolan had ordered a probation report on that date into what interventions and services the prison service could provide to reform Horan.

Today Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the probation report confirmed that the “Better Lives” program would be available to Horan.

He said that the report also asked the court to make an order that a certain type of program not be entered into by Horan.

Judge Nolan ordered that Horan not be allowed to enter into a computer programming course as outlined in the probation report.

He also ordered that Horan enter a bond to be of good behaviour for two years from the date of his release, undergo two years post release supervision and avail of all services available to him.

During the sentence hearing last January, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Horan used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik, an anonymous instant messaging application, to send and receive child porn images from six identified child users in Ireland and nine unknown users around the world.

A forensic examination of Horan’s computer uncovered recorded Skype calls between him and two nine year-old-girls, both individually and together.

The recordings included footage of these girls engaging in graphic sexual acts.

Horan also took part in sexually explicit text conversations with the girls, during which there would be an exchange of photos.

Horan would use Kik to share child porn images and videos with unidentified users from around the world, most of whom claimed to be young teenagers.

He threatened to share an 11-year-old girl’s nude images to her social media if she didn’t send him more graphic photos.

In the text exchange between them, this child repeatedly told Horan that she would kill herself. He then continued to coerce her to send more images, the court heard.

Pleaded guilty

Horan, of St John’s Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty to a count each of sexually exploiting two girls within the State on dates between 1 April and 23 November, 2014.

He pleaded guilty to two more counts of sexually exploiting a child and one count of distributing child porn on dates in 2015. He further pleaded guilty to possessing child porn at his address on 11 July, 2015.

He pleaded guilty to three further counts of sexually exploiting female children through Snapchat and Instagram in the State on dates between 21 May, 2015 and 7 July, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing child porn on a Sony mobile phone at his home on 7 July, 2016. He has no previous convictions.

In sentencing Horan last January Judge Nolan said Horan had a very unhealthy, insidious and debased sexual interest in children. He said the crimes were all committed for Horan’s indulgence and pleasure and Horan had exploited children in a most horrible way.

“He knew what he was doing was wrong. He understood the damage and yet he didn’t stop what he was doing,” he said.

Judge Nolan had backdated the sentence to June last year, when Horan went into custody. He had ordered a report from The Probation Service in relation to interventions available to Horan.

“If there are such interventions, he has to partake of those meaningfully. It is important for society and him that he is given certain interventions that will change him,” he said.

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