May 2018

Man (20) had child torture video on computer

A young Dublin man caught with child pornography showing the sadomasochism, rape and torture of an 18-month-old baby girl was looking at it because it interested him, a court has heard.

Gardaí found 5,919 images and 328 video files on two laptops and a phone belonging to Conor Emmet (20) after an intelligence operation involving the FBI and Europol.

Gardaí said the graphic material was on the upper end of seriousness in such cases.

Detective Garda Brid Wallace from the Cyber Crime Bureau said the files included videos showing the rape and torture of an 18-month-old girl.

Emmet, of North Way Estate, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing the images and movies on two laptops at his home on May 17, 2016. He has no previous convictions.

Det Wallace told the prosecution the infant in the video has since been identified in Thailand and taken to safety.

“She has no recollection of the abuse but suffered serious internal damage and will not be in a position to have children when she is older,” Det Wallace said.

Det Wallace said during one video: “The child’s screams were heard throughout.”

Det Wallace told the prosecution that gardaí also found an interactive book called ‘Welcome to Paedophelia Handbook’ on Emmet’s computer.

“This included sections entitled ‘how to handle police and the public if things go wrong’, and ‘hunting season'”, Det Wallace said.

A Garda memo of interviews stated that he had first accessed child porn when he was aged 16.

The defence said Emmet has done great work to overcome what was obviously a sickness.

“There is no other way to explain this as it is truly and seriously dreadful,” she said.

She said that representatives from One in Four, a victim support group with whom Emmet has completed a programme, said he had made honest disclosures in relation to his behaviour.

She said Emmet told a psychiatrist that he was “looking at it (the material) because it interested me”.

The court heard that Emmet came to Garda attention when the FBI began watching a darknet network called ‘playpen’.

The FBI passed this user’s and other Irish users’ IP addresses to Europol, who sent them to gardaí at the Online Child Exploitation Unit.

Judge Karen O’Connor adjourned sentencing until May 11.