A man who was caught with nearly 1,500 child abuse images and videos has been jailed for one year.
Donal Carroll (43) was caught with abuse material of an "extreme level", including a video which depicted a mother and her young child being raped and then murdered, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.
He was also sharing child abuse material online with a third party who lived in Norway, Sergeant Emma Ryan told Oisin Clarke BL, prosecuting.
Carroll, with an address at Waterside, Rosbercon, New Ross, Co Wexford pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child abuse material at his former home in Irvine Terrace, East Wall, Dublin on July 22nd, 2016. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing child abuse material on dates in October and December 2014.
He has no previous convictions.
Sgt Ryan told the sentence hearing that gardaí were alerted to Carroll's online activity in 2016 by Norwegian authorities. Carroll's house was searched and his laptop was seized. Due to a backlog in the Garda National Cybercrime Bureau, the laptop was not analysed until 2019, when the material was found.
The material included nearly 1,300 images and just under 200 videos of children in graphic poses or being raped, the court heard. In relation to the video of the mother and child, the court heard what appears to have occurred in the video had not been determined.
Carroll shared a total of 11 images with the person in Norway.
Carroll was interviewed in 2021 and told gardaí that he had sought help in the past for his issues.
Michael Bowman SC, defending, told the court his client had significant mental health issues and had attempted to take his own life on several occasions.
Mr Bowman said Carroll had "stumbled" upon the child abuse material in an online chatroom, where such images were regularly shared. He then started downloading them himself. He has since sought treatment for his issues.
Mr Bowman said Carroll has been "waiting for this day to come for six years" due to garda delays and this in itself was a "quasi-sentence".
Sentencing him, Judge Martin Nolan took into account the fact that the court was dealing with material that was seized in 2016. He noted the fact that Carroll had been distributing material meant the case "crosses the line from a non-custodial position to a term of imprisonment".
He handed down a one-year sentence to date from Tuesday.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.
In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.