Man accused of sexually exploiting girls gets bail

by Sylvia Pownall

A MAN accused of sexually exploiting young girls he contacted on social media and producing and distributing child porn has been granted bail despite garda objections.
Mathew Horan, 25, of St John’s Crescent, Clondalkin is charged with a series of offences alleged to have happened at his home on dates in 2014 and 2015.
He is facing trial over his alleged contact with three girls aged between nine and 12, as well as having thousands of movies and images of child sexual abuse, including animation clips.
Horan, who lives with his parents, was granted bail despite the objections of gardai who said they believed he would commit child pornography offences while on bail.
Blanchardstown District Court heard the accused replied “no” when the 44 charges were put to him.
Some 38 charges that were previously brought were withdrawn by the prosecution. The new charges consisted of 27 counts of distribution of child pornography, eight counts of sexual exploitation of a child, six of possession of child pornography, one of producing it and one of encouraging the production of it. The accused’s home was searched and a computer, external hard drive and mobile phones were seized. Mr Horan accepted ownership of them. Gardai allegedly found thousands of child pornography images and movies. When his home was searched, Horan admitted he had accessed child pornography on the internet, the court was told. Garda David Connolly said he believed the defendant would commit child pornography offences if granted bail. He said on January 31, after bail was granted on the previous charges, gardai did another search in which a mobile phone and two USB sticks were seized. Child pornography was allegedly found on the devices and Gda Connolly said he believed further charges would be brought as a result.
The officer said all the accused’s equipment had earlier been seized and these devices were new. Applying for bail, defence solicitor Brian Coveney said the accused had no previous convictions and enjoyed a presumption of innocence. Judge McHugh granted bail under conditions including that Mr Horan sign on daily and does not engage in any social media platforms.
He is prohibited from having any device which gives him access to the internet and must not make contact with any juveniles or witnesses.

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