Dublin Man Avoids Jail Time After Darknet Child Porn Spree

Garda Police Station
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Richard Coghlan has avoided a jail term despite downloading over 300 images on the Darknet market. It is said that Richard has lost his job recently when he accessed these websites at night after sleeping all day. Richard later told the Gardaí that he went “into a hollow”. At the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Detective Garda Kieran Murphy told the court that the Garda Computer Crime Investigation Unit had such a backlog of cases in 2010. He, therefore, did not receive any results until November 2015.

“In August 2010 Interpol provided Gardaí with an IP address that officers suspected had downloaded child pornography,” said Murphy to the Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting team. The address was therefore traced back to Coghlan. When the Gardai arrived at his Dublin home a month later to search it, he immediately handed over two laptops.

It took five years for the two laptops to be analyzed forensically. Coghlan came voluntarily to the station in the meantime and admitted that images of child pornography would be found on the machines.

Coghlan of the Glenbrea Court, Shankill, Dublin, therefore pleaded guilty to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the possession of 325 images on his laptops on September 21, 2010.

Coghlan had no previous convictions at the time.

“Of the 325 images found, 52 fell into the lowest category of seriousness, 175 were in the second lowest category and 98 fell into the second-highest category,” said Murphy. There were also some movie files on his laptops which are classified under into those categories. According to Murphy, a number of known child pornographic websites were visited by Coghlan. This came about after doing a search on the Darknet for “girls of a young age, 5 yo to 12 yo – penetration”.

Judge Martin Nolan gave a two and a half year in jail sentence to Coghlan. He also suspended his internet rights.

He announced that his sentence is based on the previous child pornographic case law. This law concludes that in incidences of a low number of images, and when the accused has no number of previous convictions, a suspended sentence should be handed down. In the United States however, a child pornography criminal offense is not held lightly.

According to Judge Nolan, just over 300 images were not in regard to a high number as compared to cases that had previously come before him. That is when people have been caught with thousands and sometimes, tens of thousands of images.

The judge commented that “It’s an odious crime to have committed and he should be ashamed of himself. I’ve no doubt that people who know him, think less of him now,” before adding that Coghlan was an intelligent man and a man of ability.

He also accepted that Coghlan has not re-offended in the seven years since he was caught. In an agreement with James McCullough BL, Detective Garda Murphy defended that his client “never sought to take advantage of the delay” in analyzing his computers and making admissions before the results came back. He also accepted that Coghlan “doesn’t seem to be a person at risk of future offending”.

According to McCullough, Coghlan had come to realize himself “in a real way that this is not a victimless crime and that young children are hurt”. “He carries the shame of these activities,” counsel continued before he submitted that Coghlan would benefit from psychotherapy.

The Two Similar Cases

Similarly, Robert Lane, 35, of Riverside Grove, Athgarvan, Co Kildare, who was recently accused of having images of child sex abuse, was told to stay away from all children. He was facing charges under the Section 6 of the Child Trafficking & Pornography Act.

Previously, Judge Zaidan who presided over his case ordered Robert not to photograph any child under the age of 18, and to abstain from alcohol. He was also ordered not to have any contact with children whether or not there is consent from the parent or guardian.

Judge Desmond Zaidan amended part of the bail condition as imposed, July 7th of 2016.

On his own bond of €700, Judge Zaidan released him and ordered him to sign on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He was to sign between the times of 9 am to 9 pm.

Robert Lane was warned that the alibi of suffering from mental health is not to be considered as part of his defense. Authorities all over the world are serious about finding and persecuting any Darknet dealer on the ground of illegal acts.

The case of the law lecturer who was convicted of possessing child pornography was no different. Julian Myerscough (54), formerly of Alexandra Road, Lowestoft in Suffolk, was found guilty of possessing indecent images of a child at Ipswich Crown Court in September 2015.

Lawyers for Myerscough under the article 40 of the constitution made an application to challenge his detention in Arbour Hill Prison. After the article 40 High Court was heard, it was found that Myerscough’s case was not arguable. Also, the proposition which was put forward on his behalf was “unsustainable”.

According to the judge who sat with Justice Garrett Sheehan and Justice George Birmingham, the court of appeal dismissed Myerscough’s appeal on all grounds.

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