June 2018

Shop manager avoids jail for possessing 466 child sexual abuse images

A manager of a Dublin art supplies shop has avoided a jail term after gardaí were tipped off by a credit card company that he had bought child sexual abuse images online.

Fionnbarr Kennedy (56) was at work in M Kennedy and Sons in Dublin when gardaí searched the premises and seized two phones and his laptop.

He accepted that the laptop was his own and nobody else had access to it. The computer was later analysed and 466 pornographic images of children were retrieved through forensic processes from one of the hard drives. Nothing was found on either of the phones.

Det Michael Fitzgerald told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that 180 of these images depicted girls under 17 years of age engaged in sexual activity, while 280 were images of underage girls with their genitalia exposed. The remainder of the images were computer generated.

Kennedy, of Kingsmill Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of child sexual abuse images at M Kennedy and Sons on Harcourt Street, on July 27th, 2010.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 2½ years in prison, which was suspended in full.

The court heard that due to a backlog at the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau the laptop wasn’t analysed until 2015. Kennedy was subsequently interviewed again but made no admissions.

He was charged in June 2016 and initially requested a trial date but changed his plea to guilty last April.