November 2017

Man jailed for distributing explicit child sex abuse images

A man who began downloading child abuse videos and photos for his own sexual gratification and then began distributing the material via the internet was jailed for 2½ years at Trim Circuit Court on Thursday.

Martin Arkins (34), Ard na Gréine, Kells, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to possession of child sexual abuse images at his home on September 11th, 2009, for the purpose of distribution, exportation, sale or showing on April 7th, 2016.

The court heard the defendant’s activities came to light in September 2009 when a woman alerted gardaí that she had found images of naked teenage boys on her computer after she got the defendant to install anti-virus software on it.

When gardaí seized a laptop at his home Arkins told them there were approximately 200 videos stored on it.

Later analysis confirmed the material included highly explicit images of children engaged in sex acts as well as child nudity.

The court also heard that after gardaí were alerted by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in 2016 about an image posted on Arkins’s Facebook page, they seized an iPad from his home and found it contained 1,180 child sex abuse images, some of children under 10, as well as an animated film of child sex.

Arkins was interviewed by gardaí in August last year. He accepted responsibility and admitted sharing the material with anonymous people online.

A defence barrister said his client was now engaged in a programme with the One in Four organisation as an indication of his remorse and regret.

Judge Michael O’Shea told Arkins he had been assisting in the sexual abuse and exploitation of young children by his deliberate and intentional actions.

The judge sentenced Arkins to concurrent terms of four and three years, with the final 18 months suspended in each case.

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