Man (61) In Cork Sentenced To 21 Months In Prison For Possession Of Thousands Of Child Sex Abuse Images

A 61-year-old man in Cork who was found with thousands of images of child-sex-abuse in his home – has been sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Gardaí were securing the area around the English Market for a visit by British dignitaries when the Cybercrime Unit became suspicious of computer activity at an address on Grand Parade.

Be aware that listeners may find some details distressing:

In June 2018, Gardaí were preparing for the visit of the then Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to the English Market, when the Garda Cybercrime Unit became suspicious of computer activity at the business and home address of William Sweetnam on Grand Parade.

61-year-old Sweetnam was found in possession of thousands of images of child-sex-abuse on a laptop and an external hard drive.

One-thousand images were of children being engaged in sexual activity or witnessing it, while almost 3-thousand images were of the children’s anogenital areas.

Most of the videos also showed children being engaged in sexual activity or witnessing it.

The children concerned were aged from 14 years down to just months old.

Sweetman denied all the charges and claimed that the material must have belonged to an old business associate from the Czech Republic.

He chose to go to trial earlier this year but changed his plea to guilty on the second day.

In sentencing, Judge Dara Hayes cited the fact that the defendant had a “highly relevant previous conviction” for possessing child pornography as an aggravating factor in the case.

Judge Hayes said that he accepted Sweetnam had gone for counselling and had made some overtures towards rehabilitation.

Sweetman was jailed for 21 months.


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