A man who was caught with close to 100 files of child abuse material has been given a suspended sentence.
Paul O'Dowd (37) admitted to gardaí that the 78 images and 10 videos were found on his Samsung mobile phone and said he had previously viewed and downloaded images of child abuse. He said he had never sent such images on to other people.
Detective Garda Lisa Finn told Aoife O’Leary BL, prosecuting, that following a garda tip off, O’Dowd’s home was searched, and a mobile phone was seized. This was later analysed, and the images found were considered to be images of child abuse material.
Detective Garda Finn said 52 of these images or videos showed children with their genital or anal area exposed while the remaining images or videos depicted children witnessing or engaging in sexual activity.
O’Dowd of Pearse Brothers Park, Ballyboden, Dublin 16 pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to knowingly possessing images of child pornography at his home on February 12th, 2021. He has five previous convictions for road traffic offences.
Detective Garda Finn agreed with Justin McQuade BL, defending, that his client answered all questions gardaí put to him and entered an early plea of guilty.
Mr McQuade asked Judge Martin Nolan to consider giving his client “a chance” having taken into account his lack of relevant convictions and valuable admissions.
Judge Nolan accepted that it was “by no means the largest number of images this court has to have to deal with” and acknowledged that because of his conviction he would be registered as a sex offender.
He sentenced O’Dowd to 21 months in prison which he suspended in full on strict conditions including that O’Dowd engage with the Probation Services for 12 months.