Man who sent explicit images of himself to German boy (12) jailed

Man Who Sent Explicit Images Of Himself To German Boy (12) Jailed
The boy later told German police that initially the conversation was “nice” but suddenly Gavin Begley (23) wanted to get erotic pictures of the boy. Photo: PA Images
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Sonya McLean

A man who sent explicit images of himself to a 12-year-old German boy, believing the child was a 14-year-old girl, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Gavin Begley (23) befriended the German boy through an online game the child was playing with his friends. They played a few rounds of the game before Begley messaged the child privately.


The boy later told German police that initially the conversation was “nice”, but suddenly Begley wanted to get erotic pictures of the boy.

The boy explained later to police officers that the game was played through Instagram, and the child’s Instagram profile was a random image of a girl, leading Begley to assume the child was a girl. The child told Begley in their conversations that he was 14-years-old.

The child thought Begley was joking when he asked for the picture, so he requested a photograph of Begley first. When he got a photograph in return of Begley’s penis he knew it was serious and broke contact with him.

He said previous to this, Begley admitted in conversation between them that he had a fetish for children.


The child knew from Begley’s Instagram handle that the man’s name was Gavin and he was from Ireland. He reported the incident to German Police who contacted gardaí.

During the investigation, a warrant was secured to search Begley’s home and gardaí discovered 57 videos and 362 images of child abuse material on his phone which was confiscated during the search.

Begley’s phone was later analysed and a number of social media apps were found on it, with various email addresses for Begley. It showed that Google Translate was regularly used and there was evidence of conversations which had been translated from English to Russian.

Some of the chats included requests for naked photographs of girls from six to 12. Another line of chat recovered stated “nobody has to know that we are talking….it can be our little secret”.


Begley, of Ballybough Road, Dublin 3, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to communication with a child using Instagram for the purposes of facilitating sexual exploitation of a child on November 27th, 2019.

He also admitted possession of child pornography at his home on September 7th, 2020.

Judge Dara Hayes accepted that Begley had no previous convictions, had not come to further garda attention and had significant mental health issues. He further accepted his remorse and that he has a supportive family.

Child abuse material

The judge said it was a very serious offence, as most of the images fell into the highest category of child abuse material, though he accepted there was no evidence that Begley distributed the images.


Judge Hayes said the incident of requesting an image from the German boy was a “most unpleasant offence” given the young age of the victim and the fact that Begley was aware it was a child.

“It is an insidious offence because children are targeted for child exploitation,” the judge said.

He acknowledged that Begley has been registered a sex offender. Begley was sentenced to four-and-a-half-years with the final 12 months suspended for two years on strict conditions, including that he has no unsupervised access to children.

Det Garda Tracey O’ Reilly told the court that the child ultimately reported the incident to German police. On September 6th, 2020, gardaí received the information from the German police and an investigation was launched.


The child provided police with some of the conversations between Begley and himself, of which he had taken screenshots. He said he told Begley he was 14 and Begley told him he was 20 but that the child’s age “would not matter”.

The phone number connected with the Instagram account led to gardaí identifying Begley as a suspect and his home was searched on September 7th, 2020.

Begley initially suggested to gardaí that he had been hacked, claiming his phone was taken when he was having a shower and someone recorded him. He subsequently made admissions and said there was one file of child pornography on his phone.

He said he had been chatting with people on Instagram and admitted that he played games online and also used an app called Discord.

He then recalled the conversation in November 2019, and said he had been chatting to a German girl. He claimed that “various things” had been sent from his account that had not been sent by him and suggested that “someone may have had control of my Discord account”.

Det Gda O’ Reilly said the child abuse material was ultimately recovered from the phone and the majority of the videos and images fell into category one which involved children engaging or witnessing sex with children or adults. The children raged in age from three to 16.

Following the analysis of the phone, Begley was interviewed again and he made significant admissions. He maintained he had only watched the videos once, but accepted that he had kept them, rather than deleting them.

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Det Gda O’Reilly agreed with defence counsel that Begley was a vulnerable young man and that he has shown remorse and has a want “to repair the hurt he has caused to society and his family who have supported him”.

It was accepted that he was bullied in school and that he has suffered from depression and anxiety.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800-77 8888, access text service and webchat options at, or visit Rape Crisis Help. 

In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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