A man who downloaded images of children as young as four being sexually abused and raped has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Simeon Betts, aged 45, a UK national with an address at Henry Street in the city, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to possession of child pornography, including 50 films and nine images, at an address at Church Road, Raheen on March 4, 2010.
He was arrested after gardai searched his home after receiving information from Interpol.
During a sentencing hearing last month, Detective Garda Christine Bergin told the court that material found on three laptops - including one belonging to a young boy - “showed children being abused in a horrendous fashion”.
Det Bergin said the content of the movie files was of “the upper most scale”, and in one movie an animal was used.
The average age of children used for these purposes was eight to 10 years, she said.
Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said he felt “compelled” to impose an immediate custodial sentence due to the serious nature and degree of depravity contained in the material seized.
The judge noted that Betts has attended a clinical psychologist and that he is aware he needs professional help for his condition.
He also noted that since his arrest Betts has lost his job, his home and only has limited access to his children. He added that his reputation “is in tatters”.
Judge Moran imposed a four year prison sentence but suspended the final two years.
Betts’ name was also added to the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.