Man gets suspended sentence after being caught with images of child abuse – – Our News, Your Views

Man gets suspended sentence after being caught with images of child abuse

A man who was caught with pictures of child abuse while Gardai was investigating him for sexually assaulting a child in a clothing store was given a full suspended prison sentence, reports RTE.

Gardai searched the home of Stephen Gregan, 42, in June 2017 after receiving complaints that he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl while shopping with her friends.

The seizures and analysis of two hard drives and a computer revealed 64 images and 57 video clips of child pornography.

The court heard that the images and footage depicted three to ten-year-old children engaging in sexual activity or graphic images of children up to 15 years old.

On 13 June 2017, in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Gregan of Grove Park, Rathmines, Main Street, East Dublin, Tullamore, Co Offaly, pleaded guilty to possessing child sexual abuse materials at his Dublin home, reports RTE.

In today’s ruling, Judge Melanie Greely said that had this charge been dealt with at the same time as the sexual assault count, it would have resulted in custody.

However, Judge Greeley said the court should consider the length of time the material was seized and whether the issue would be “undue harshness in imposing a custodial sentence” at this point, reports RTE.

She added that the steps Gregan had taken to rehabilitate himself, the resulting lack of negative attention from the Garda, and the time since the crime was discovered, “swing the balance against the immediate imposition of a custodial sentence”, reports RTE.

Judge Greely sentenced Gregan to 18 months in prison, which she suspended for two years under strict conditions in which he places himself under the supervision of the probation service.

Gardaí was investigating an allegation of sexual assault when they searched Gregan’s home in Rathmines and found child pornography.

At an earlier sentencing hearing, Gerardine Small SC defended herself, saying her client was in a dysfunctional relationship at the time and was suffering from depression.

Ms Smalls said her client has been in counseling since the incident and has been placed on the sex offender register.

The attorney said Gregan’s brother had written a letter to the court describing “what kind of state” his brother was in at the time, reports RTE.

Ms Smalls said: ‘He is fully aware that this is not a victimless crime. He has done what he can in terms of rehabilitation, has not come to garda attention since and is a very changed man from the man he was in June 2017,” reports RTE.

A letter from Gregan was delivered to the court today. Ms Small told the court that her client was supported by family and her wife was present in court.

Judge Greeley noted that the DPP had directed a summary indictment for this charge, but the District Court had “quite rightly” denied jurisdiction based on the “severity” of the materials.

Noting the amount of material seized, the judge said aggravating factors included the nature of the material and that in some cases children under the age of three were involved.

Judge Greeley said he considered mitigating factors, including Gregan’s expressed remorse, his initial guilty plea, and the steps he’s taken toward rehabilitation.

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