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Court declines to suspend final days of child porn pervert's sentence

Mark Mulligan
Mark Mulligan

The Court of Appeal has declined to suspend the final day of a man's prison sentence for child pornography charges despite a request by his lawyers in circumstances where his sentence was still under appeal.

Mark Mulligan, of Station Way, Clongriffin, Dublin 13, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Crminal Court to harassment and possession of child pornography at his home in the capital between March 9 and March 17, 2013.

The 40-year-old had denied a charge of knowingly producing child pornography but was found guilty by a jury following a two day trial and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final 12 months suspended by Judge Patricia Ryan on November 20, 2014.

Dublin based child pornographer, Mark Mulligan, talked about raping RTÉ reporter's kids, read it here.

Mulligan lost an appeal against his conviction today on the unsuccessful ground that the judge erred in finding that the material he was found guilty of knowingly producing was capable of being considered child pornography.

He is due to complete his sentence tomorrow which is still under appeal. However, the Court of Appeal did not suspend the balance of his sentece – the balance being one day - despite a request from his lawyers.

Giving judgment Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said gardaí had obtained a search warrant for his home and entered where a computer and computer storage device were seized.

When analysed, the computer hard drive and storage device were found to contain photographs of children and the record of a conversation Mulligan had with a third party on Skype.

“The content of the recorded conversation was particularly graphic. It referred, in the crudest detail, to acts of gross rape, sexual assault and severe torture of young children in terms which can only be described as extremely depraved, disturbing and horrific,” Mr Justice Mahon said.

Three years for Dublin rape fantasist, here

It was submitted on his behalf, by barrister Garnet Orange SC, that the material might best be described as a fantasy conversation between Mulligan and the other party.

However, Mr Justice Mahon said the material in question constituted the storage of “data capable of conversion into any such document”. It was a fact the data was stored in such a way that it could be retrieved and it was retrieved by the gardaí.

The court dismissed his appeal at which point Mr Orange said his client was due to be released from custody tomorrow.

Given that Mulligan's appeal against sentence was still live, Mr Orange asked the court to suspend the balance of it – the balance being one day.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said the court had a difficulty intervening without assessing the merits of the appeal. He said the court was not in a position to "simply trim" a sentence even by a day.

Mark Mulligan's charming dating profile, here

Mr Orange said that as a matter of principle, Mulligan wished to appeal his sentence.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Mahon and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, said the court would put the matter into the next list to fix dates. He will be "in the community" by the time the appeal will be heard, the judge said.

Barrister Shane Costelloe SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions objected to the request to suspend the balance of Mulligan's sentence.