Man downloaded over 14,000 child porn images and movies

Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00

A WEXFORD town man has been sentenced to two years in prison for the downloading of more than 14,000 pornographic images and movies relating to children.

Eugene Leacy of 91 Belvedere Grove, Wexford, pleaded guilty before Judge Barry Hickson at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court.

The 61-year-old defendant entered a guilty plea to having in his possession child pornography on Samsung Laptop at 91 Belvedere Grove, Wexford, on December 17, 2009.

He further pleaded guilty to knowingly having in his possession child pornography on a Tesco disc on December 17, 2009. Also a plea of guilty was entered in relation to having in his possession child pornography on a Western Digital disc drive on December 17, 2009, and also to knowingly having in his possession on December 17, 2009, child pornography, on a Sony CD.

Garda Janet Walsh, told the court of investigtions having being carried out in relation to a number of websites. On December 16, 2009, a search warrant was executed by gardai on the defendant's home when a number of gardai attended. During the course of the search a number of items were located. The two CDs were located in a safe in the house after the defendant handed over the key. During the course of the search the defendant made a number of submissions to Det. Garda David Beale. He was questioned, the answers were recorded, and he was very co-operative.

Garda Walsh said that in an examination of the laptop she found explicit child pornography images and movies. The entire volume of images came to 13,711, with 427 movie files.

She said 90% of the images portrayed young girls between 5 and 10 years with male adults, while movie files contained explicit footage of children around 10 years of age.

Garda Walsh said the investigation and analysis of the files took a considerable time to process as there was only one unit in the country dealing with such cases. Last year a unit was transferred to New Ross. At that time there was a lack of garda resources for such investigations but this had now been rectified which should lead to a speeding up of such cases.

Defence Counsel, Sara Phelan,said the defendant co-operated with the entire process from the time the search warrant was executed. Many years later when arrested he attended Wexford Garda Station for interivew on his own volition, and his co-operation was wholesome and fulsome. There was no evidence he was communicating with any other individual and he was accessing these sites in isolation. There was also no evidence of a distribution of any kind.

Det. Garda David Beale told the court that during the investigation the defendant had co-operated fully, actually assisting them during their search. He said the defendant did not use any credit cards to purchase from, or subscribe, to any websites.

During the course of the search he had expressed immediate remorse and confessed immediately to his actions. He also said that the defendant had never come to the garda attention prior to this or since.

Defence Counsel, Ms Phelan, said that the defendant comes before the court ashamed and a disgraced gentleman. He comes before the court to express his remorse and offer his apologies to the court, the gardai and the unidentified victims of this crime. He had expressed his remorse to Det. Garda Beale.

Ms. Phelan said she would not see these admissions as lessoning the nature and seriousness of the crime, despite the fact that he has dealt with it in the most appropriate way possible. Following the house search, the defendant had undertaken counselling for one and a half years at the Granada Institute which was of his own instigation.

She would ask the court to take into consideration that the defendant has had to deal with this matter since December 2009 and had to deal with the shame and disgrace it has brought on his family, relatives and friends. He has done what he can do and will continue to deal with this through therapy, and he volunteers to undertake whatever the court says. The defendant's wife has been extremely affected by this but hs stood by him despite not being spoken to by her family for some time, a situation wich has now been rectified somewhat.

The defendant, she said, is a man who has worked through the entirety of his life up to 2002 when he suffered a heart attack; up to this is a man who would have retired without a blemish on his record. No fault could be laid at the defendant's door for the time delay in bringing the case.

This was not an isolated incident but he had never come to the attention of gardai previously or since. If he could put the clock back, this simply would never have happened.

Describing it as a dreadful crime, Judge Hickson said that having taken all that was said into consideration, he would have to impose a custodial sentence.

The Judge said he would impose a two year prison sentence on each of the four charges, to run concurrently. In addition he would make it a condition he refrain from compute activity for a period of five years on his release from prison. He also ordered that the defendant be placed on the Sex Offenders Registrar.

Wexford People

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