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SUSPENDED SENTENCE Man who avoided jail after child porn conviction says he 'accidentally' clicked link

Asked why he clicked on the link, Nabil Ibrahim said: 'I don't know. I wasn't sure what it was. It just said 'illegal' or something like that'

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Nabil Ibrahim says his lawyer is trying to appeal the conviction

Nabil Ibrahim says his lawyer is trying to appeal the conviction

Nabil Ibrahim says his lawyer is trying to appeal the conviction

A 25-year-old man who claims he unknowingly downloaded animated child pornography has told how one click on a website resulted in his arrest and conviction in court.

Nabil Ibrahim of Lehenaghmore, Togher, Co. Cork, appeared before in court last week where pleaded guilty to having child pornography at his home on February 3, 2019.

All bar one of the images found in Ibrahim's computer were cartoon depictions of children engaged in acts of a sexual nature.

Ibrahim, who received a four-month suspended sentence for the offence, this week insisted to the Sunday World that he had not intended to download child pornography.

"It was just by accident," he said. "I was on a social media site. It was Tumblr and I clicked on it."

Asked why he clicked on the link or folder, Ibrahim said: "I don't know. I wasn't sure what it was. It just said 'illegal' or something like that. All this happened four years ago - it's been going on quite a while."

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Reporter Patrick O’Connell speaks to Nabil Ibrahim

Reporter Patrick O’Connell speaks to Nabil Ibrahim

Reporter Patrick O’Connell speaks to Nabil Ibrahim

Asked whether Gardaí had accepted his protestation of ignorance, Nabil continued: "Sort of but not really. I was arrested and ended up in court.

"But my lawyer is trying to get an appeal now, I think."

Appearing on behalf of Ibrahim at Cork District Court last week, his solicitor Eddie Burke said his client had cooperated with Gardaí from the moment he was approached in relation to the matter.

Having considered the contents of the probation report, and the fact that the accused had no previous convictions, Judge Kelleher imposed a sentence of four months but suspended it on condition that the accused would keep the peace and be of good behaviour for next two years.

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The judge also made it a condition that Ibrahim continue with the Footsteps programme - an initiative aimed at assisting defendants in cases such as his.

Over the past decade, Gardaí have seized increasing amounts of virtual or simulated child pornography in the form of cartoons, text and computer graphic images.

The material, which does not feature real child victims, is frequently seized alongside child abuse material.

Investigators have also uncovered images of minors created using sophisticated computer graphics programmes, as well as standard adult pornography which has been "aged down", meaning it has been altered to make the participants appear to be underage.

Two per cent of all complaints received by Hotline.ie, a tip-line for alerting the authorities to online child abuse imagery, in 2018 concerned "virtual child sexual abuse imagery".

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The suspended sentence was handed down at Cork District Court

The suspended sentence was handed down at Cork District Court

The suspended sentence was handed down at Cork District Court

 

Much of the simulated child abuse material appears to originate from Japan, with some depicting children being murdered and tortured as well as sexually abused.

Realistic "child sex dolls" have also been seized by authorities in recent years.

Unlike several other western countries - including the US and Switzerland - Ireland categorises all types of child sex abuse material, simulated or real, as child pornography.

Offenders face up to five years for possession and 14 years for producing or distributing such material.

Anyone who encounters what they believe to be child pornography on the internet can securely, confidentially and anonymously report the suspected illegal content to Hotline.ie.

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