National Lottery employee avoids jail term for showing child abuse imagery to colleague

ireland
National Lottery Employee Avoids Jail Term For Showing Child Abuse Imagery To Colleague National Lottery Employee Avoids Jail Term For Showing Child Abuse Imagery To Colleague
Marko Lovric (28) pleaded guilty to possession of child abuse imagery at the National Lottery Office, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin on September 1st, 2019. Photo: PA Images
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Sonya McLean

A man who showed a colleague in the National Lottery Headquarters a video of what appeared to be a child and adult simulating sex has avoided a jail term for having child pornography.

Marko Lovric (28) of Quinsborough Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the material at National Lottery Office, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin on September 1st, 2019. He has no previous convictions.

Detective Garda Paul Griffin told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Lovric was working in National Lottery HQ dealing with calls at the time when he approached a colleague, held up his phone to her and started to play a video.

The woman later told gardaí that what she saw on the video was a woman and child, adding that it looked as if they were “simulating sex”.

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The colleague told Lovric to go away and became upset which caused a second colleague, who observed the exchange, to check if she was OK. He later reported the incident to HR which led to the garda investigation.

Det Gda Griffin said Lovric had a number of items seized from him during the course of the investigation and four videos, which were found to be movies depicting the abuse of children, were discovered.

He said the videos either involved children being raped by adults or children witnessing such an interaction.

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Det Gda Griffin told Judge Melanie Greally that the videos were shared, by people from outside of Ireland, to a WhatsApp group which Lovric was engaged in.

Det Gda Griffin agreed with Fiona Murphy SC, defending, that her client co-operated fully with the garda investigation and has been suspended from work as a result of his behaviour.

Ms Murphy handed in a number of personal references which confirmed Lovric’s work for charity in the past. She said he fully accepts his guilt, is ashamed and sorry for what he has done.

“People accepting this kind of material, when it is sent to them, creates a market for it,” counsel submitted before she added that Lovric fully accepts his responsibility in that regard.

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Ms Murphy said her client instructed that he had been sent the videos from a WhatsApp group that he was engaged in and accepts that he should have told the group he did not want these videos.

Lovric is originally from Croatia, where his wife and child live.

“He hopes to return to Croatia and put this matter behind him,” Ms Murphy submitted before she confirmed her client fully accepts the seriousness of the situation.

Judge Melanie Greally said Lovric clearly did not truly appreciate the highly harmful nature of this material, which was demonstrated by the manner in which he viewed it in his work place.

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She accepted it was “a significant wake-up call on that front” adding that he now realises how serious the offence is.

Judge Greally accepted a submission from the defence that Lovric is willing to engage with the Probation Service before she imposed a nine-month sentence which she suspended in full on condition that he engage with the service for 18 months.

She acknowledged Lovric’s guilty plea, the limited number of videos involved, his co-operation and remorse; and the fact that it “appears he was not necessarily seeking out this material”.

Lovric was registered as a sex offender and must engage with the 'safer lives' and 'harmful sexual behaviour in the community' programmes during his supervision by the Probation Service.

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