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Creep released Vile Snapchat paedo who sent naked photos to young girls freed after just 18 months in jail

Cyber paedophile David Byrne (34) - who boasted he was 'doing stuff with eight and nine year olds on Snapchat' - was released from Arbour Hill prison on Friday morning after serving just 18 months in prison.

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David Byrne leaves prison on Friday.

David Byrne leaves prison on Friday.

David Byrne leaves prison on Friday.

A child predator who sought out victims as young as six over the internet is today back on the streets.

Cyber paedophile David Byrne (34) - who boasted he was 'doing stuff with eight and nine year olds on Snapchat' - was released from Arbour Hill prison on Friday morning after serving just 18 months in prison.

He was jailed in December 2019 for the production and distribution of child pornography after a probation report warned he represented 'a high risk of re-offending.'

Exiting the prison on Friday and sporting a tight haircut and an N95 mask, Byrne refused to comment when approached by the Sunday World.

Asked whether he wished to apologise to the children victimised by him, Byrne shot an angry look at our reporter before getting into a car and being driven from the scene.

Byrne, who sent naked photos of himself to underage girls through messaging services such as Snapchat, requested similar images from the children he was in contact with, his 2019 trial heard.

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David Byrne

David Byrne

David Byrne

He also engaged in conversations online with other people who had a similar interest in child pornography.

He asked for images and videos of children up to 14 years of age but said he preferred images of children aged six or seven.

His vile online activities weren't rumbled until 2016 when gardai were contacted by the County Sheriff Office in Albuquerque in the United States with information that suggested that Byrne was involved in the sexual exploitation of children.

Byrne's home was searched the following January during which he handed over a mobile phone for which he gave gardai the pin code.

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Byrne is approached by our reporter before being whisked away from prison.

Byrne is approached by our reporter before being whisked away from prison.

Byrne is approached by our reporter before being whisked away from prison.

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A tablet, a Playstation 3 and Playstation 4, another mobile phone and a laptop were also seized and technically examined.

Garda Philip Munds said 159 pictures and 21 videos were considered "child explicit" in that they showed children in some form of sexual contact, while 20 videos and 103 pictures involved children exposing themselves.

A further 66 videos and 157 images showed children in suggestive poses.

Garda Munds said that conversations, which were printed out following technical examination of many of Byrne's devices, outlined discussions which involved Byrne describing the best video he had seen as involving a child who was about nine years old.

Byrne told others that he was "doing stuff with eight and nine year olds on Snapchat" but said he couldn't record the interactions.

He again requested images of children under 12 years old.

Byrne pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of and production of child pornography at his home on dates between October 11, 2016 and January 11, 2017.

He had previous convictions for drink driving and public order offences.

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David Byrne is released from prison.

David Byrne is released from prison.

David Byrne is released from prison.

Garda Munds told Judge Martin Nolan that there were at least 11 incidents of Byrne interacting directly with underage girls, sending images of himself and requesting photographs of them.

Defence counsel, Lorcan Staines SC, made an application that his client's address would not be published in any reporting of the case as he was concerned there could be consequences.

Judge Nolan initially granted the order prohibiting the publication of Byrne's address but later noted this would be impractical as "every David Byrne in the city would be suspect".

He ordered that a photograph of Byrne be printed with the story in order to distinguish him in the absence of the publication of his address.

Judge Nolan noted the seriousness of the offences and said Byrne's interactions with third parties and children were very serious.

He took into account the mitigating factors, including his guilty plea, co-operation, good work history and the contents of psychiatric and other reports handed into court.

Judge Nolan also noted Byrne had difficulties in his own background and problems he was doing his best to address.

He noted that in the case of a count of possession of this material and in the absence of aggravating factors a non-custodial sentence would be open to the court, but said the facts of the second count involving distribution brought the case into a much more serious area.

Mr Staines told Judge Nolan that his client attended at One in Four for therapy for perpetrators of sexual abuse in an attempt to get insight into his own behaviour.

He said he was paying for the therapy himself every two weeks when he was not earning much money.

Byrne later attended his own GP to discuss the case and was treated for acute anxiety.

A probation report, which concluded that Byrne was at a high risk of re-offending, stated that he engaged fully with the Probation Service and had been making efforts to deal with his mental health difficulties.

Mr Staines submitted that sending such images to children and requesting photographs from them represents "extraordinarily serious criminal behaviour" but asked the court to accept that Byrne had not re-offended while he was on bail, though he had been closely monitored.

"He has demonstrated to the court that he is willing to engage with the various services that are available to him," Mr Staines said.

Imposing sentence, Judge Nolan ordered that Byrne serve concurrent sentences totalling four years before suspending the final two years on strict conditions.

Byrne's release comes just weeks after parents in Ireland were issued a 'red alert' over the safety of children using online messaging apps.

The warning came after it emerged a massive 82 per cent of children aged between eight and 12 have profiles on social media and messaging apps.

Alex Cooney, CEO of CyberSafeKids said: "Covid restrictions mean that more children than ever are using social media despite being younger than the minimum age restrictions that are meant to apply.

"We're concerned that there is not enough parental oversight of the content children are consuming, and that so many kids have friends or followers that they don't actually know in real life."

He said parents "needed to be reminded" of the importance of being involved in their children's online lives.

"It is essential," he said, "that they are having conversations with their kids and putting boundaries in place, as well as keeping an eye on what they're consuming, who they are talking to and what they're posting."

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