Man repeatedly caught with child abuse images exposed himself to children
A 42-year-old Louth man who has been repeatedly caught with child sexual abuse images exposed himself to children on their way to school, a court has heard.
Barry Watters was later caught with child abuse images by gardaí who had spotted him entering an internet cafe and were able to remotely monitor what he was viewing.
Watters pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of indecency in the city in December 2014, and possession of child images at Middle Abbey Street on October 20, 2016.
He has six previous convictions, mainly for possession of child images over the past 10 years and one for criminal damage where he soiled a cell at a Garda station.
Formerly of Infirmary Road, Dublin, and originally from Dundalk, Co Louth, he was remanded in custody by Judge Martina Baxter, who ordered a psychologist’s report ahead of sentencing on December 3.
She said Watters would have to be released back into the community at some stage and the community had to be protected. She asked that the psychologist’s report address this.
A plea in mitigation on behalf of Watters by his legal team will also be concluded in December.
Lawyers for Watters submitted the offences were an addiction triggered by crisis points in his life. Watters had not come to Garda attention until 10 years ago at the age of 32 and his life had gone “progressively off the rails” after 2008.
Watters had been made homeless a number of times after the media drew attention to where he was living.
Pervert free to walk the streets
Child abuse images addict Barry Watters enjoys his freedom as he strolls through Dublin city centre in his tight-fitting shorts.
Last year, Watters (34) was jailed for three years after he was nabbed with vile images of children being abused.
When he was convicted, the self-confessed kiddie porn addict was already serving a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence after being caught with thousands of sick images of children.
In 2007,Watters was nabbed with the horrific stash following an FBI investigation into child pornography.
Despite being given a “second chance” by the courts in April 2008,Watters was again caught looking at child porn just 11 months after he was given a suspended sentence. Now, the Dundalk-native is back on the streets after serving his sentence in Arbour Hill Prison
He is living in a halfway house in Dublin city centre, just yards from a primary school. A resident who contacted the Sunday World said she was shocked he was allowed in the hostel.
“He shouldn’t be in here, this is a mixed centre. Some of the women are very afraid.”
Watters, originally from Dundalk,was released on licence earlier this year after serving just two years of his sentence.
When approached by the Sunday World and asked if he wished to apologise for his crimes, he said: “No comment.”
He first hit the headlines after he was arrested in Interpol’s ‘Operation Iron’ which targets distribution of child porn. His credit card details were found along with 70 others from Ireland.
In May 2008,Watters was given a two-and-a-half year sentence suspended for three years. But he was caught with more vile images within a year.
Last year, Dundalk Circuit Court heard how a man sitting near Watters on the bus to Dundalk from Dublin airport saw him looking at pornographic images on a digital camera.
The man went to gardaí to report him and was able to pick out Watters from a newspaper photo. Gardaí got a warrant and searched Watters’ house.
They found 161 photos printed from a camera memory card in his jacket. Watters had to be restrained a number of times while gardaí were in the house.
In court, he pleaded guilty possession of child pornography and expressed remorse for his crimes, and confessed to a chronic addiction to child porn.
Watters is also believed to have participated in the Arbour Hill Sexual Offenders Treatment Programme.