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Man gets 12-month prison sentence on child porn charge

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Man gets 12-month prison sentence on child porn charge

A man charged with possession of child pornography, received a 12-month prison sentence, with six months of it suspended at Portlaoise district court.

Andrew Sankey (53) of 21 Cedar Brook Walk, Cherry Orchard, Dublin 10 was charged with possession of child pornography at Rushall, Mountrath on June 1, 2016.

Defence Solicitor Barry Fitzgerald noted that the category of images was Category 1, which he said was the lower end of scale.
He noted that Mr Sankey had had difficulties in his life. He had co-operated with the Gardai. He tried burning his computer in shame. He asked the court to take account of his manner. There was a comprehensive report from the probation services.

“This is child pornography,” said Judge Staines. “The image recovered was of a pre pubescent female lying on a bed. Do you know who the child was? The child is a victim. This is created for financial reasons and gratification.
“I note the Court of Appeal decision on sentencing. The issue of distribution does not arise here," she said. 

However, the Judge took issue with a matter highlighted in the probation report.

“He did not disclose his sexual assault of a 9-year old girl in the UK to the probation services. He said he had no memory of it when the probation services discovered it. No recollection of it.

“He was dishonest with the probation services. He returned to his brother in Dublin who had a child and he did not tell his brother about it.

“I am very concerned this information was not disclosed. Thousands of young children are sexually abused. They are victims. Their lives are destroyed. The court has to mark the seriousness of the offence. He tried to destroy the computer with fire and water.

“I'm sentencing him to six months in prison. The only reason it's not 12 is his early plea.
“Child pornography is not a victimless crime.”

Barry Fitzgerald said that Mr Sankey had his own issues which he was endeavouring to address. The previous offence involving the 9-year old girl took place 30 years ago.

Judge Staines replied, “It's not the offence, it was his non disclosure of it to the probation services. I do not accept that.”

Barry Fitzgerald said he was endeavoring to be rehabilitated. Judge Staines changed the sentence to 12 months and suspended six months of it. “He needs supervision and will be under supervision for two years.

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.