Irish Student Jailed 15 Months for Possessing Child Porn

Conor Emmet, a young Brit has pleaded guilty at a Dublin Circuit Court to charges of possessing graphic child pornography on his 2 personal computers. Emmet, of Northway Estate Finglas, popped up on the Irish police radar in an FBI operation of monitoring a dark web forum named ‘Playpen’ after one person was busted in the United States.

The 20-year-old’s arrest then came after the Irish police force joined hands with the FBI and Europol in an intelligence operation where the FBI forwarded the arrested person’s IP address together with other user IP protocols belonging to members from Ireland to Europol, who also gave them to the Irish police at the Online Child Exploitation Unit.

When his family home was raided in May 2016, the authorities found 5,919 pictures together with 328 videos of child pornography on two laptops belonging to Emmet. Emmet’s images and videos were of a wide range of child pornography, according to Irish police detective Brid Wallace. When asked about the seriousness of this case, he said, it was way off the chart in criminal activity.

He also told Prosecutor Derek Cooney that Emmet had an interactive book “Welcome to Paedophilia Handbook” on one of his laptops. It detailed how to have safe sex with children and had special pieces named ‘how to handle police and the public if things go wrong’ and ‘hunting season’. He also added that Emmet had a video of an 18-month old girl who was being sexually assaulted by one female in a mask. This girl has been found and is safe in Thailand with her family. “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,” Detective Wallace stated.

Emmet first accessed child pornography at 16, and once told a psychiatrist that he was viewing it because it was interesting. Judge Karen O’Connor who sentenced Emmet stated that this crime was serious, far from a victimless crime. She, however, noted the defendant’s earlier plea and stated that he was a very good student who has participated in charity work as well as engaged in intensive rehabilitation. Emmet had a spotless record with no previous convictions and admitted fully to his actions.

Judge O’Connor also said that she had taken into consideration a non-custodial sentence but in this very case, she had no other choice but to give Emmet a jail sentence. She afterward added that majority of the kids being exploited in the images and videos were from poverty inflicted backgrounds and added that these children must be protected.

“Graphic and explicit details were heard relating to the most disturbing abuse of a very young toddler, who has since been taken to safety but suffered serious injuries,” she stated. Emmet’s parents stood by him and gave their infinite support to him throughout the whole case. His mother’s letter, which was acknowledged by Judge O’Connor stated that Emmet had never given his parents any trouble or worry until this issue.

Emmet was handed a two and a half year jail sentence, with the final 15 months suspended. He is also expected to undertake a one-year, three months supervision after his release.

Judge O’Connor stated that this case was exceptional as there was mostly a large number of materials involved. Emmet’s counsel Tara Burns SC, told the court that her client has worked very hard to overcome what was clearly a sickness.

She stated that she couldn’t explain his illness as it is truly appalling. According to her, Emmet is a kind and loving boy and comes from a very good family with exceptional parents who have supported him all along.

She also presented many letters to the court including those from his client, a family friend, and his parents. She added that a member from a victim support group of which Emmet had completed revealed that he came clean to them about his behavior.