A LIMERICK city man who abused a young girl over a two-year period has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for possession of thousands of images of child pornography.
Anthony Keogh, aged 53, who is originally from Moyross, admitted possession of more than 12,000 images at his home at Leinster Road, Dublin on September 5, 2012.
Detective Garda Tom Stack told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that gardaí searched Keogh’s home following a tip-off and confiscated his mobile phone, laptop and three USB keys.
Images were found of young children engaged in sexual acts with adults while others featured young girls with their genitals exposed.
Most of the images, he said, depicted young girls aged around nine but the children ranged in age from three to four years up to 17 years old.
Previously, Keogh received a lengthy prison sentence at Limerick Circuit Court after he was convicted of abusing a young girl at his home in Moyross on dates between January 2005 and October 2006.
The victim in that case, who was aged between seven and nine, was a friend of his family’s at the time of the assaults.
Following his guilty plea in February 2008, Judge Carroll Moran said the accused “had corrupted this innocent, young girl” and had abused his position of trust.
Keogh, who pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges, also admitted video-recording the girl while she changed into a swimming costume at his house, and to exposing himself to her in his car on numerous occasions.
Judge Moran imposed a six year prison sentence, suspending the final three years for six years.
Yesterday, at Dublin Circuit Court, Judge Martin Nolan noted the suspended portion of the sentence could not be activated as Keogh had pleaded guilty a month after the period of suspension had expired.
Imposing sentence, he commented the defendant still represents a danger to society as he “seems to have an attraction to children and has difficulty controlling that attraction”.
The judge commended the gardaí for their “exhaustive and very difficult work” in searching and analysing the thousands of files which were recovered.
“The law is there to protect children at large. If there was no appetite for these types of images of children, they would not be exploited in this fashion. An exploitation which is probably taking place many miles from these shores,” Judge Nolan said.
He said it was appalling what Keogh had done but he had taken into account his plea, co-operation with gardaí and genuine expression of remorse.
He acknowledged that Keogh is beginning to have some insight into his problem and is engaging with a therapy programme for sexual offenders.
Judge Nolan suspended the final year of a four year prison sentence on condition that Keogh engage with the Probation Service for a year upon his release.
“His history is an indication that he is going to be difficult to reform and rehabilitate,” Judge Nolan said.
A psychological report concluded that Keogh was honest in his attraction to young girls which he accepted needed to be managed for the rest of his life.
Det Garda Stack agreed with Giollaíosa O Lideadha SC, defending, that Keogh is genuinely ashamed and remorseful but needs continual help and support because he is in danger of reverting to the same behaviour again.
“He has a compulsion and desire to look at this material but he knows it is wrong, it’s not enough on its own to stop him from doing it,” Mr O Lideadha said.
Det Gda Stack agreed that Keogh didn’t share the material and had never paid for any of the images.
Mr O’Lideadha said Keogh had a “deep appreciation” for those who had supported him and had helped him move forward.