Suspended sentence for possessing child porn

A 63 year old man who admitted possessing child pornography was caught after he took his computer to a repair shop because it wasn’t downloading properly, Dundalk Circuit Court was told last week.

A 63 year old man who admitted possessing child pornography was caught after he took his computer to a repair shop because it wasn’t downloading properly, Dundalk Circuit Court was told last week.

Peter McEvoy with an address at Water’s Edge, Ballyleague pleaded guilty to committing the offences at his then home at Boyle O’Reilly Terrace, Drogheda, County Louth on June 29th 2009 and at The Laptop Shop, in the Laurence Town Centre, Drogheda two days earlier.

The court was told last Wednesday that a computer technican contacted the gardai after he became suspicious of the names of files that were in the process of being opened when he checked the computer which Peter McEvoy had complained wasn’t downloading anything for him.

The computer was seized and gardai removed further equipment including a laptop and external hard-drives from the Defendant’s then home two days later.

More than 8,500 images and almost 700 videos were identified including duplicates and they ranged from the most serious category to the 
most minor.

The court heard the accused is a retired corporal from the Defence Forces, who had worked with adults with special needs at the St. John of God’s facility at St. Mary’s Drumcar and for a time with the Drogheda Youthreach programme.

It was also told that after he separated from his wife, the defendant lived in Thailand before returning 
to Ireland.

Jonathan Kilfeather S.C for the Defence, argued the accused had cooperated fully with the investigation and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

The barrister added his client had become addicted after he initially downloaded the images thinking that this would remove them from 
the internet.

Mr. Kilfeather said the accused had effectively been forced out of Drogheda, had lost the chance of getting accommodation in Cavan due to media coverage of his guilty plea and had been shunned by his fomer friends and colleagues.

The court heard the defendant had been raped at the age of 15 and contracted TB at 16. He had also been drinking heavily for a period of his life but after listening to the advice of his GP and family he was admitted as an inpatient at St. Brendan’s hospital for six months.

A report outlined how Peter McEvoy had said he felt sorry for the children depicted and “did not regard this as a victimless crime”.

The court was told he felt guilty and was ashamed of his behavior and his remorse was considered to be genuine.

Judge Michael O’Shea said the defendant could have stopped but “chose to go in deeper and seek out the images of the children involved” and by doing so had “assisted in the exploitation of these young children”.

He added it was unfortunate that the children would not be able to give their own accounts in a victim 
impact statement.

Judge O’Shea noted that Peter McEvoy had ‘engaged well’ with the One in Four treatment progamme and had shown remorse.

He imposed concurrent sentences of two and a half years but suspended them on the basis that the defendant entered a bond to be of good behaviour for 
three years.