No jail for man who left phone with child porn in images pub

A Clondalkin man who was caught in possession of child pornography after leaving his mobile phone containing the images behind in a pub has been given community service instead of a prison term.

Bar staff contacted gardaí after finding the phone and discovering inappropriate images.

Lorcan Fahy (aged 31) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of 25 images and one video of child pornography of children between eight and 16 years old at Laurels Pub, Clondalkin on September 17, 2009.

Fahy said he had got into child pornography through looking at pornography websites. “I am sorry and don’t know what I was thinking” he told gardaí.

Fahy of Monastery Gate Lawn also pleaded guilty to possession of 79 downloaded images of child pornography of victims between the ages of 14 and 16 at his home on September 18, 2009.

He has no previous convictions and the court heard the images fell into categories at the low end of the scale of child pornography, depicting erotic posing and non-penetrative sexual activity.

Judge Patricia Ryan confirmed her earlier indication that she would impose 240 hours community service and a two-year suspended sentence. She also ordered Fahy be registered as a sex offender.

He also entered into a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of two years, to comply with the probation services for 18 months and engage fully with treatment.

The judge said Fahy’s case was “in the lowest category” and noted he has no previous convictions.

She said aggravating factors were the serious nature of the charge and the amount of images found. Mitigating factors were his early plea of guilty and that he had no previous convictions.

Garda Ciaran O’Neill told Mr Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were contacted by staff at Laurels Pub who said a phone had been found on the premises which contained inappropriate images.

Gda O’Neill said he went to the pub and on viewing the images agreed with the impression that they were of young girls. He discovered the phone was registered to Fahy and applied for a search warrant for his home.

Fahy opened the door to gardaí and when asked if he had anything to hand over he gave gardaí bundles of pictures of naked females. He admitted he had the images of young children on his phone and expressed remorse. A small amount of cannabis valued at €170 was also found.

He said he had noticed when he got home from the pub that his phone was gone. He said he had got the images from a website and acknowledged they were of minors. Gardaí also seized his laptop computer.

Gda O’Neill said 104 images and one video were found to be in breech of the legislation.

There were 25 images on the phone, with 24 being in the lowest category depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity. There was one image in the second lowest category which depicts sexual activity between children or on their own.

A further 79 images found on a computer were also in the lower categories with some of those images and a video in category three which depicts non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children.

Gda O’Neill agreed with Mr Luán O Braonáin SC, defending, that he had no reason to have any information in relation to Fahy and only for the bar staff the offences may never have been known.

He agreed it was not a sophisticated effort to download images and that from the moment he was confronted, Fahy made admissions.

Mr O Braonáin said Fahy had engaged with a clinical psychologist who had prepared a report indicating he was at the lowest level of re-offending and had engaged with therapy.

Mr O Braonáin asked the court to have regard to testimonials from friends as well as the fact Fahy had no previous convictions and had made appropriate admissions. He said Fahy had engaged in appropriate therapy and would not be expected to trouble the courts again.


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