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Man jailed for massive child-porn collection

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Man jailed for possessing and distributing massive child-porn collection


Declan Brennan and Jessie Magee


A man has been sentenced to ten years for distributing and possessing one of the largest collections of child pornography ever uncovered.
James Clarke (58) of Devlis Cottage, Ballyhaunis, Mayo pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of knowingly distributing child pornography at Russell View Square, Tallaght, Dublin on separate dates in August 2010. He also pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on August 20, 2010.
The investigation also revealed that Clarke was also in email contact with a woman about keeping her and her 14-year-old daughter as sex slaves.
The 135,555 images and videos found on Clarke’s computer included images showing severe child sex abuse involving bondage, cruelty and bestiality. The child pornography was organised into computer folders by themes and individuals. Clarke was using an Internet site to offer the images to others.
Detective Garda Cathal Delaney told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, at the sentence hearing last July, that the files found on Clarke’s computer drives was “the largest collection of child porn” he had ever found up to that date.
The court heard that Clarke would restrict access to his files to other users who were sharing files. Det Gda Delaney said that warnings about sharing files and an invitation to others to “enjoy the files you use” was repeated in a number of languages.
In total Clarke’s computer drives held 133,563 images and 1,992 videos showing child porn.
Garda Christopher O’Leary told Ms McGowan that Clarke has a previous conviction for sex with a minor in 1977, when he was 20. Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced Clarke to ten years, but suspended two years of the term on condition that he keeps the peace and is of good behaviour for three years on his release.
The sentence was backdated to when Clarke went into custody on in January 2012. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.