• Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Man jailed for having child sex abuse images on his cellphone

A man who was found in possession of 400 child sexual abuse images has been jailed for a year.

Darren Casey (44) was surprised with the images and five videos on his mobile phone after gardaí searched the home he shares with his partner and stepchildren in November 2020.

Casey, with an address at The Avenue, Skerries Rock, Skerries, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing the material on dates between August 1 and September 1, 2020. He has 13 prior convictions, including a public order offense and road traffic offences.

Sentencing Casey in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Martin Nolan said possession of such documents was a serious matter. “This is not a victimless crime,” he said.

He noted a number of mitigating factors, including the fact that Casey pleaded guilty and cooperated with gardaí and noted that he was at low risk of reoffending.

The judge handed down a three-year sentence, but suspended the final two years under certain conditions.

At a sentencing hearing this week, Garda Detective Gemma Macken told Aoife McNickle BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were alerted to child pornography coming from a particular IP address. This address was traced back to Casey’s home address and his house was searched by gardaí.

Four cell phones were seized and 400 images and five videos were found on Casey’s phone. Some 70 of those images were found to be “child-explicit”, meaning a child was involved in or witnessed sexual activity, the court heard. Another 100 images were for the children’s exhibit, while the rest were in lower categories.

Casey was arrested in March 2021. He told gardaí he ended up on the dark web while browsing the internet looking for information about a head injury, after sustaining one himself. -same. He received someone’s pictures and videos on a messaging app, but gardaí couldn’t find out who that person was.

Cathal McGreal BL, defending, said his client later deleted the images and did not send or distribute them elsewhere. He said the revelations his client viewed on this material “put the spade among the pigeons” at home.

Mr McGreal said Casey was now aware of the effects of his offense and had shown ‘insight and empathy’ not only for ‘the devastation to his family’ but also for the children in the child pornography material.