Teacher who had 1,300 child porn images avoids jail

A music teacher who had more than 1,000 child pornography images on his computer has received a suspended jail term.

Peter Jennings (49) pleaded guilty to possession of the material at an address in Finglas, Dublin, on July 30, 2010 - writes herald.ie.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday it took five years before the files found on his computers could be fully assessed because of resource issues in the garda's computer crime investigations unit.

Gda Sgt Bridget Buckley told the court that gardai found 1,300 unique image files and 11 unique movie files depicting child pornography.

She said 935 of these showed child nudity, while the remainder depicted "erotic posing of children" or children "engaging in sexual activity".

She added that a system formerly used to rate the seriousness of images was no longer in place as it exposed the analyst to risk and took a long time.

Moods

Philipp Rahn, defending, told the court there was no excuse for his client's behaviour. He said Jennings had a history of low moods and had taken to smoking cannabis at the time.

He said a report from the Probation Service rated Jennings as being at a low risk of re-offending. He has not offended since the files were discovered and had no previous convictions.

The court heard Jennings was living at the family home in Dunsink at the time but left after his offending came to light.

Mr Rahn said his client's family were devastated by his offending.

Gda Sgt Aidan Flanagan said that, at the time, Jennings worked as a music teacher at Ballyfermot Ceoil, giving after- school lessons to children aged seven to 12.

The court heard he is a talented musician who has had to give up teaching and playing gigs.

Judge Martin Nolan suspended a prison sentence of two-and-a-half years on condition that Jennings keep the peace.

The judge said it was a serious offence but noted that Jennings was remorseful and that there was no question of him distributing the material or paying for it.

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