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Man whose mother reported him for child porn is jailed

CourtsBy Sunday World
Man whose mother reported him for child porn is jailed

A man whose mother reported him to gardaí after finding child pornography on his phone has been sentenced to three years in prison with the final 18 months suspended.

Liam Corr (21) had been granted bail in April when evidence in the case was heard but he later asked to be put into custody because he feared for his life. His barrister made an emergency application and told the court Corr believed he was in immediate danger due to the nature of the charges against him.

Defence counsel Sandra Frayne BL told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Corr had been staying in a hostel and “he heard something today which caused him to believe he was in imminent threat of being harmed.”

In April the court heard Corr had previously been banned by his mother from using a smart phone after she caught him accessing adult material on it.

When gardaí subsequently analysed the device they discovered 28 movie files; 13 of which showed under-age girls engaged in sexual activity with both adults and other children, 14 depicted similarly aged children engaging in more explicit sexual activity and a final video showed a girl engaged in bestiality with a dog.

Corr of Oliver Plunkett Road, Dun Laoghaire, pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography on dates between July 26, 2015 and August 13, 2014. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally said she had considered various reports before the court and was satisfied that Corr showed an appropriate level of shame for his actions and appreciated fully the impact his offending had on children.

She said a psychologist report concluded he had “a whole host of difficulties” which he experienced from a very young age. “There are a whole range of concerns regarding his own sexuality and sexual behaviour,” the judge said.

She said the best prospects of rehabilitation for Corr were to receive treatment within a custodial environment.

Judge Greally said Corr had psychological issues which needed to be addressed as “a matter of urgency” and his housing needs would also have to be dealt with on his ultimate release from prison.

She suspended the final 18 months of a three year sentence on strict conditions including that Corr undergo a sex offenders treatment programme and any other relevant courses while in custody. She also ordered that he engage with the Probation Service for 18 months when he gets out of prison.

At the sentencing hearing Garda Charlie Dempsey told Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting that Corr had been using a file sharing app on the smart phone to share the videos.

Corr admitted in garda interview that he encouraged others users to view the videos so he could trade material with them. He said he deliberately sought out like-minded people.

He agreed with gardaí that two children depicted in the movies were aged nine and between 10 or 12 years old. He accepted the videos were child pornography.
Gda Dempsey agreed with Patrick Marrinan SC (with Ms Frayne), defending that the Director of Public Prosecutions had previously dropped a case against Corr.

He accepted that as part of that process Corr was assessed by the Probation Service and deemed to be at a low to moderate risk of re-offending. The report also strongly recommended that he get help in addressing his “significant psychological issues”.

Mr Marrinan handed in a psychological report which he said outlined difficulties Corr had with his father as a young child. He said he suffered physical abuse and the man later took his own life when Corr was eight years old.

Counsel said the report also dealt with “a serious matter” that occurred in Corr's childhood. He said his client had been “candid” in co-operating with the psychological assessment “in an effort to try and get treatment for what are significant problems”.

“This is a young man in turmoil who wants to be helped so he won't re-offend. He has identified himself in reports the harm that his behaviour can do to young children,” Mr Marrinan said.

By Sonya McLean