February 2019

Former deputy principal jailed for 18 months for distributing ‘heinous and vile images’ of child abuse images

A former deputy principal was jailed for 18 months today for distributing “heinous and vile images” of child abuse on the internet.

Brian Fitzgerald had 555 Category One images and 1,162 Category One videos of young children engaging in explicit sexual acts, and 529 images and 1,018 videos in the less explicit Category Two, Cork Circuit Criminal Court was told.

The 49-year-old, from Youghal, Co Cork, distributed 53 images to four different people on four different occasions, resulting in further investigations of pornographic access in the US, Germany and the UK.

Pervert Fitzgerald, who was a teacher for over 26 years, ceased working after gardai raided his home at Meadowlands, Youghal in May 2017 acting on information received from the National Protective Services Bureau.

He had taken sick leave and a career break over 2017 and 2018 before resigning from his position.

He was both acting principal and deputy principal in his school, which has not been named. He had deleted the images on his computer — but Garda experts managed to retrieve them.

Fitzgerald admitted one charge of possessing child sexual abuse images and also four charges of distributing child sexual abuse images at Meadowlands, on various dates during 2017.

Sgt Mark Ward said that the Gardai had been notified by the NPSB that there was postings of pornographic images on the internet by a person using the name “School Teacher”.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain heard that Fitzgerald was a single man without previous convictions. He currently lives with his elderly mother, who is not well.