A man who sent child sexual abuse images to a UK man he was dating online has been jailed for one year.
Brian Payne (39) told gardaí he sent explicit images of young boys to a man in Manchester he was dating online three years ago, as this man had told him he liked young boys, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
Payne, of Greencourt, Claremorris, Co Mayo, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing five images of child pornography at an address in East Wall, Dublin on February 12th, 2017.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of distributing child pornography on January 23rd-24th, 2016. He has no previous convictions.
Sentencing Payne on Thursday, Judge Elma Sheahan said this was not a victimless crime as the accused and those like him created a demand for which young boys are abused.
Judge Sheahan said that deterrence has to be to the forefront of the court's mind when dealing with offending that is hidden by nature and driven by the belief that it is hurting no one, which she said is clearly not the case.
She said that given the accused's cognitive limitation, it is essential he is given access to the required therapy. She said he finds it difficult to comprehend the seriousness of the offending due to that low-level ability.
Judge Sheahan sentenced Payne to 18 months imprisonment, but suspended the final six months of the sentence on strict conditions, including that he undergo two years post-release supervision.
At a previous sentencing hearing, Detective Garda John Paul Moriarty told the court that gardaí called to Payne's Dublin home in February 2017 after they received information about possible child pornography images.
Gardaí took Payne's phone and a technical examination led to five images being retrieved. The images were all of young boys in sexually explicit poses or being subjected to sexual abuse by adult men.
The five images were sent via Whatsapp to a UK number on dates between January 23rd, 2016 and January 24th, 2016, the court heard.
When questioned by gardaí, Payne made a number of admissions.
Anne Rowland SC, defending, said her client was a gay man who came out in his twenties. She said he suffered from a mild intellectual disability and had speech and learning difficulties as a child. He attended a special needs school after repeating second class twice.
Handing a psychological report to the court, Ms Rowland said her client's IQ was in the lowest 3 per cent of the population.
She told the court that Payne had been dating a man in Manchester online for a brief period and this man had said he liked children. She said Payne sent the images to that man as a result.
The court heard Payne has worked in a number of minimum wage jobs, including in retail and a coffee shop.
Ms Rowland said Payne was remorseful for his actions and is attending counselling sessions with child abuse charity, One in Four, urging Judge Sheahan to refrain from imposing a custodial sentence.