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Garda Reserve sentenced for possessing child porn

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A GARDA Reserve and health care assistant who downloaded 109 images of child pornography received a two year suspended jail sentence.
Hugh Condron of 2 Brookville Avenue, Swinford, pleaded guilty to the possession of child porn, downloaded over a three-month period between March and May 2015.
Detective Garda Martin Mitchell told last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court that the images were mainly of young boys with victims’ estimated ages ranging from four years old to early teens.
The Gardaí were alerted to the activities by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the USA in November 2015 and they traced the email address and IP address used to download the images to the defendant.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was informed that Mr Condron was still a member of the Garda Reserve but was suspended. Mr Desmond Dockery, senior counsel for the defendant said his dismissal was inevitable but Judge Ó Donnabháin asked why he had not resigned saying the dismissal process can be ‘long and time consuming’.
After a brief consultation, Mr Dockery said he client would be resigning ‘from today’.
Det Garda Mitchell explained that after receiving a warrant, Mr Condron’s premises was searched and laptops and an iPhone was seized. Mr Condron was arrested and detained. The laptop confirmed the presence of a user name and a Dropbox file-storage and -sharing account to which the porn had been downloaded.
Mr Condron has no previous convictions. As well as being a Garda Reserve, he was employed as a health care assistant in a nursing home in Westport, but he has been suspended from this job.
Mr Dockery said his client accepted responsibility for his offending behaviour, and a psychiatric report showed that he had an insight into the gravity and culture of child exploitation.
He said at the time he was having difficulties at work and with a visa application for his now husband and had ‘lost his way’. He said the matter had taken a personal toll on him and it was embarrassing for his parents and siblings.
In sentencing Judge Ó Donnabháin said he accepted that Mr Condron had engaged openly and constructively with psychologists and that he was classified of being of a low risk of reoffending.  
He said that not withstanding the seriousness of the offence he accepted Mr Condron was genuinely remorseful and accepted Mr Dockery’s assertion that he had ‘lost his way’.
He imposed a two-year prison sentence but suspended it in its entirety on condition he continues to engage and obey all directions of his psychologist and remains of good behaviour for a period of two years.

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