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Offaly man convicted for possession of child pornography

Sonya McLean

Reporter:

Sonya McLean

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news@offalyexpress.ie

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A convicted child abuser who was previously jailed for the abduction and sexual assault of two young girls has been sentenced to three years in prison for possession of child pornography.

48-year-old Kevin Healion, formerly of Cappincur, Tullamore, Offaly, was jailed for ten years in October 2004 by Judge Desmond Hogan. He had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to abducting and sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl and to sexually assaulting a ten-year-old on June 11, 2002.

Garda Cormac McGill said Healion was released in 2009 having completed a sex offenders treatment programme in Arbour Hill.

In August 2011, gardaí searched Healion's Dublin apartment, having “gained information during an investigation,” Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting, told the court.

A laptop, memory cards, a memory stick and a printed booklet of child pornographic stories were seized during the search. Healion initially denied owning the material but later made full admissions.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of possession of child pornography and a charge of production of child pornography at Saint David's Terrace, Blackhorse Avenue on August 6, 2015.

Ms Grant said the production charge related to the creation of the booklet which contained one image of child pornography of a young girl and seven stories, depicting sexual encounters of girls aged between eight and 12 years old with both male and female adults. The court heard the stories were produced in America and printed off by Healion.

Gda McGill said gardaí found 127 child pornographic images on Healion's laptop, which showed naked children under 17 years old, with their genital areas exposed.

A further 29 animated images depicted child characters being subjected to sexual acts with both adult and other child characters.

Judge Martin Nolan said Healion's previous convictions were both serious and relevant.

He accepted that Healion had “led a miserable existence” since his release from custody and had a very low IQ but said a custodial sentence must be imposed.

The judge suspended the final year of the three year term on strict conditions.

Gda McGill agreed with Cathal McGreal BL, defending, that the images depicting “real children” fall into the “least offensive” category of child pornography, while those animated images were considered the second most serious.

Mr McGreal said his client grew up in rural Ireland and had a good work history despite dropping out of secondary school early.

He said he had been doing well when he was first released from prison. He was living in an apartment block where he had befriended a family with young children.

This family was alerted to his previous conviction and his landlord evicted him. Mr McGreal said from that point his client led “a lonely isolated life.”

Counsel said reports before the court concluded that his client was at a moderate to high risk of re-offending but also outlined that 99% of the population had better verbal cognitive skills.

Mr McGreal said his client's intellectual abilities made it difficult for him to fully engage in therapy.

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