February 2019

Man sentenced for possession of over 80,000 child abuse images

A man who pleaded guilty to the possession of over 80,000 child abuse images has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Judge Sean O’Donnabhain said this was an exceptionally serious case arising both from the number of images and the categories they fell into.

55-year-old Cynan Rees, of The Reesidence, Old Belmont, Rochestown, Cork pleaded guilty to three charges of knowingly having in his possession child abuse images at his home on 1 May 2014 in respect of three hard drives.

Rees, who ran a computer repairs business from his home in Rochestown, initially told gardaí he had nude pictures because he was a naturist, but denied point blank having images of child abuse.

At his sentencing hearing today, Detective Garda Sean Minihan told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that gardaí searched Rees’ home in May 2014 following information from Interpol.

Gardaí seized 104 computer devices including hard drives and USB keys pertaining to Mr Rees’ computer repairs business but found three hard drives in his bedroom on which “a colossal amount of images”, over 80,000 pictures and videos, were found.

Imelda Kelly, prosecuting, told Judge O’Donnabhain that the number of images was a factor in the delay in bringing the case to court but not the only reasons for the delay.

When analysed, 78,866 images of child nudity where the genital area is exposed were found.

2,280 images of children in sexual activity with adults or other children were also found.

There were 368 videos of child nudity and 483 videos of children in sexual activity with adults or other children.

Sentencing him, Judge O’Donnabhain said this is an exceptionally serious case arising from the number of images and the categories they fell into.

He said there were over 2,700 Category 1 images and videos – the most reprehensible of categories.

He sentenced Rees to three years in prison, but suspended the final 18 months on condition that he will immediately on his release undertake a course with Forensic Psychology Services and complete that as soon as practicable, and he is to remain under the care of the Probation Services for three years following his release.