Man jailed for two years for possessing and distributing child pornography

by Padraig Conlon

A man who distributed the same child pornographic video on three occasions has been jailed for two years.

Martin Stapleton (30) of Glenmore Green, Ballyboden, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to distributing child pornography and possessing child pornography at his address on July 17, 2014 and July 1, 2015 respectively.

Garda Alan Young told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that gardaí received information on June 30, 2015, from police in Merseyside that someone at Stapleton’s address had sent indecent images via Skype to a person who had been arrested in the United Kingdom.

Gardaí searched the house on the following day and seized a number of electronic devices. 119 images and 18 videos of child pornography were discovered across all of these devices.

Detective Garda Donagh Mannix told Mr Berry that he was able to recover details of conversations and files shared by the accusd on Skype.

Dt Gda Mannix said that on three separate occasions the accused sent a video of child pornography to three different locations. He said the video showed a female child being orally raped by an adult man.

In interview with gardaí, Stapleton admitted to possessing and distributing the material, but denied that he had ever touched a child inappropriately. He has no previous convictions and has not come to adverse garda attention since.

Gda Young agreed with Patrick McGrath SC, defending, that the four year delay in prosecuting the case could not be attributed to his client. He agreed that Stapleton was “selling his body on the street” at age 15 to obtain money and food.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that the devices could not be examined at the time they were seized by reason of lack of resources. He said that to have this type of charge hanging over someone was onerous.

Judge Nolan sentenced Stapleton to two years imprisonment. He said that had the matter been dealt with expeditiously, the sentence would have been in the region of three years imprisonment.

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