Longford man receives suspended sentence for possession of extreme child pornography
A Polish national, who pleaded guilty to the possession of 847 images of child pornography including “images of the rape of babies” has been given a three-year jail sentence suspended for two years, at Donegal Town Circuit Court.
Wojciech Odrobina, 10 Canal Drive, Prospect Woods, Longford previously pleaded guilty to the possession of 847 images of child pornography at the July sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court.
At the November sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court this year, the court heard that the defendant had downloaded graphic images of children being abused from a site on the dark web.
A subsequent investigation led gardai to an apartment in Carrick-on-Shannon and a search was carried out under warrant on August 12, 2013.
There was no one in the property at the time but the search uncovered a number of external hard drives including some which were concealed in a laundry basket, and a laptop. All items were brought to the computer crime lab in Dublin for examination.
The defendant returned to Carrick-on-Shannon on August 28 and, believing his apartment had been burgled, contacted gardai.
When he arrived at the garda station Sgt Donnelly said Mr Odrobina was cautioned. The defendant later gave a voluntary interview where he provided gardai with passwords and codes to access the hard drives. He also confessed to downloading child pornography.
Sgt Donnelly said further investigation of the hard drives found a large number of images including images of “an extreme nature” which involved the “rape of babies” remaining on the hard drives.
He said the images included boys and girls with a range of ages from babies to older children with 847 pictures found in total.
He acknowledged some were of genitals of children but added that others were of a more “extreme nature” and were “very graphic in their content”.
“The defendant had also downloaded a specific programme which is used to view and then delete these images from his (hard drive). However he had not managed to delete all the material and some (the 847 images) remained,” he said.
The defendant was later arrested and interviewed at Longford Garda Station and during this, he “made a full admission” about accessing and downloading the images.
Mr Odrobina voluntarily entered a treatment programme and participated in one-to-one therapy from 2014.
He said this has helped him to understand the impact the abuse had on the children portrayed in the photos he downloaded.
The defendant said the “strongest realisation (of the impact of his crime) was when I had my own kids. Christ how could I do this, what I was doing?”
“I experience a very deep shame and am feeling guilty all the time,” he said.
During sentencing, Judge John Aylmer said the images were at the extreme end of the range of very young children being abused in an extreme manner which was an aggravating factor.
In mitigation, Judge Aylmer said the defendant had cooperated fully, had no previous convictions and Tusla had closed the books on this matter which meant he was not viewed as an on-going threat to children.
The case had been hanging over the defendant for seven years and he had gotten help for his situation and had shown good insight.
He was assessed as being at a low risk of re-offending.
The judge jailed the defendant for three years and suspended the sentence for two years.
The defendant was bound to the peace for two years, and ordered to comply with all Probation Service requirements and the Sex Offenders Act.