Man tells court he was using downloaded indecent images and movies of children as young as three to identify those making it
A 41-year-old Shannon man told gardaí that he was downloading child sexual abuse images as part of an effort to identify those involved in producing indecent images of children
At Ennis Circuit Court today, counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL said that Ciaran Moore tried to portray to gardaí in interviews that his viewing and downloading of child sexual images “was part of a crusade” against those producing child pornography.
In the case, Ciaran Moore pleaded guilty to the possession of 531 child explicit images and 24 child explicit movies at his home in Shannon.
The offences took place on October 31, 2012, and November 1, 2012.
In evidence today, expert witness, Det Garda Ciara Scully of the Garda National Cyber Crime Unit said that some of the images found include girls as young as three and four in sexually explicit activity.
Det Scully said that other images show male adults engaging in penetrative sex with pre-pubescent children in videos.
She said that a number of websites contained child pornography were accessed by Mr Moore.
Det. Scully said that the images detected would be at the upper level of child pornography images available.
She also said that 20,000 images of child models in various poses were also found on Mr Moore’s computers, which was not an offence, but Mr Connolly said the presence of 20,000 such images was indicative of a sexual interest in children.
Det. Scully said that Mr Moore had encrypted the child pornography material and it took gardaí two years to break a password on a computer that led to more child porn images.
The password on the computer was “Iampowerful.”
Mr Connolly said that Mr Moore in Garda interviews said that he downloaded and saved the child pornography to identify those in making child pornography.
Mr Connolly said that Mr Moore told gardaí that he reported the child abuse images to websites but could not provide the names of those websites.
Mr Moore said that he didn’t leave his contact details with these websites.
Mr Connolly said that Mr Moore had never reported the child pornography to the gardaí or any law enforcement agency.
According to Mr Connolly, Mr Moore told gardaí that he “was saving the child porn as it might be needed as evidence in any future investigation”.
Mr Connolly said that Mr Moore told gardaí that he has strong feelings about sexual abuse as someone close to him at the time had been abused when she was a girl.
Mr Connolly said that at one stage in the Garda interview, Mr Moore was asked why there were only images of young female children on his computers as opposed to young male children.
In reply, Mr Moore stated that he was“too busy trying to save girls from these situations without having to look at violent images of boys also”.
However, Det. Garda Paul Coleman said that there was no evidence that Mr Moore has contacted any website and that his viewing of child porn took place years before he became close to the person who he claimed was sexually abused.
Mr Connolly said that Mr Moore denied accessing the child pornography for his own gratification.
Counsel for Mr Moore, Brian McInerney BL said this client is “a Walter Mitty-type character”.
He said: “Based on the reporting issues, he is somewhat of a fantasist. He didn’t make any malicious pre-planned lies – he believes a lot of what he is saying.”
“He tried to mitigate and it was a stupid attempt to mitigate in reality.”
Mr McInerney said that Mr Moore now lives away from Shannon – Det. Coleman said that up until moving away, Mr Moore had been living at his parents’ home with his girlfriend and his parents.
Mr McInerney said that a psychiatric report on his client is not yet ready and Judge Keys remanded Mr Moore on bail to Ennis Circuit Court later this year for the completion of the sentencing hearing.