suspended term | 

US-born man caught with 2,487 child abuse images in his Dublin flat avoids jail

Daniel Cregg's flat was searched after his GP reported concerns about him to gardaí
Daniel Cregg at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Daniel Cregg at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Declan Brennan

A man was found in possession of images and videos of children being sexually abused after his GP reported concerns about him to gardaí, a court has heard.

During a psychiatric assessment consultation in 2015 Daniel Cregg (58) expressed child abuse views that were a source of concern for his GP.

On foot of a report from the GP gardaí obtained a search warrant for Cregg's flat on Edenvale Road, Dublin. Cregg met gardaí at the door and co-operated with the search and told gardaí there was “child porn” material in the house.

Cregg was found to have 2,487 sexually explicit images of children stored on computer equipment at this flat. Nearly 400 of these depicted children in sexual activity, the court heard.

Two images had been printed out and placed together to represent something happening. This formed the basis for a charge of production of “child pornography”, the court heard.

Cregg pleaded guilty to this offence and to possession of “child pornography” at Edenvale Road., on July 8, 2015.

Daniel Cregg

Daniel Cregg

Detective Sergeant John Kelly told the court that there is a shortage of garda resources to analyse this type of material and that by the time it was analysed Cregg had already pleaded guilty.

He agreed with Felix McEnroy SC, defending, that Cregg's “bizarre” questions to his GP may have been “somebody who was looking for help”.

He agreed that Cregg could be described as a vulnerable adult.

Mr McEnroy told the court that Cregg was born in the US but after his parents divorced he was placed in private foster care with a woman who had strict religious views and physically abused him.

Cregg was later sent to live with a great aunt in Cork but there was tension between him and her husband.

He went on to work to train in computers and worked in computing in the US for two decades before finding himself out of work in the late 1990s.

He returned to Ireland and ended up living alone in Dublin, in extreme social isolation and poor squalor, counsel said. He said that in some respects Cregg was relieved when gardaí came to his door.

Judge Melanie Greally said that the aggravating facts in the case were the amount of the offending material and the skill involved in how the material was stored.

She said the mitigating factors included his difficult personal circumstances, his educational and employment achievements and the lack of any other offending. She said that in particular she was taking into consideration Cregg's psychiatric history.

She suspended a two-year prison term for two years on condition that he Cregg continue to engage with the Probation Service and mental health services.

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