October 2014

Convicted paedophile jailed for accessing child abuse images

A convicted Limerick sex offender who admitted he has a compulsion to accessing child abuse images has been jailed after a judge said he is a danger to society.

Anthony Keogh (53), who searched the internet using terms such as ““child sex stories” and “underage sex stories”, was caught with 12,756 images of children engaged in sexual acts with adults and in various states of undress.

His previous convictions include a six year term with three suspended for abusing a child in Limerick between 2004 and 2006.

The suspended portion of the term handed down in Limerick Circuit Criminal Court in 2008 had just expired the previous month when Keogh pleaded guilty to the current charge last March.

He was convicted of a second offence of sexually assaulting another child in July 1997 and a charge of indecent exposure of himself to a minor in December 1989.

Keogh pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the images in his home on Leinster Road, Dublin, on September 5, 2012.

 “He seems to have an attraction to children and has difficulty controlling that attraction so he is a danger to society as he currently stands before me,” Judge Martin Nolan said before sentencing Keogh to four years with one suspended.

He commended the gardaí for their “exhaustive and very difficult work” in searching and analysing thousands of files found on Keogh’s laptop and three USB keys.

“The law is there to protect children at large. If there was no appetite for these types of images of children, they would not be exploited in this fashion. An exploitation which is probably taking place many miles from these shores,” Judge Nolan said.

He said it was appalling what Keogh had done but he had taken into account his plea, co-operation with gardaí and genuine expression of remorse.

He acknowledged that Keogh is beginning to have some insight into his problem and is beginning to engage with a therapy programme for sexual offenders.

Judge Nolan suspended the final year on condition that Keogh engage with the Probation Service for a year upon his release from custody and carry out two years post release supervision.

“His history is an indication that he is going to be difficult to reform and rehabilitate,” Judge Nolan said.

A psychological report concluded that Keogh was honest in his attraction to young girls which he accepted needed to be managed for the rest of his life.

He had attended the sexual offenders treatment programme with One in Four for both group and one on one therapy sessions.

Detective Garda Tom Stack agreed with Giollaíosa O Lideadha SC, defending, that Keogh is genuinely ashamed and remorseful but needs continual help and support because he is in danger of reverting to the same behaviour again.

“He has a compulsion and desire to look at this material but he knows it is wrong, it’s not enough on its own to stop him from doing it,” counsel said.

Det Gda Stack agreed that Keogh didn’t share the material and had never paid for any of the images.

Mr O Lideadha said Keogh had a “deep appreciation” for those who had supported him and had helped him move forward.

“He is genuinely remorseful and wants to change but accepts that it will require more work,” counsel said. <ends>

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE OF THE CRIME

Det Gda Stack told Ronan Kennedy BL prosecuting that gardaí searched Keogh’s home following a tip-off and confiscated his mobile phone, laptop and three USB keys.

One of the USB keys was found to contain 221 images of children under the age of 17 engaged in sexual acts with adults, while 553 depicted young girls with their genitals exposed.

Det Gda Stack said 138 images were of children fully or partially unclothed and 32 images were of cartoon characters, including child characters involved in various sexual acts with child characters and adults.

Most of the images depicted young girls around nine years old but the children ranged in age from three to four years up to 17 years old.

Some of the files were stored in a folder called “sexy pictures”. There were no images of child pornography on the remaining two USB keys.

Det Gda Stack said 4,385 images depicting children engaged in sexual acts with adults were found on the laptop while the remaining images depicted girls under 17 with their genital areas exposed.

Analysis of Keogh’s internet history revealed that he used search terms such as “child sex stories” and “underage sex stories” when browsing the web.

February 2008

Moyross man jailed for abusing young child

A MOYROSS man who abused a young girl over a two-year period has been sentenced to six years imprisonment, with three years suspended.

At Limerick Circuit Court, Tony Gerald Keogh, 46, pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual abuse. The girl was a friend of his family’s and aged between seven and nine years at the time of the assaults.

Judge Carroll Moran said the accused “had corrupted this innocent, young girl” and said the aggravating factors of the crime were his position of trust and the repeated nature of the offences.

Mr Keogh admitted to video-recording the girl while she changed into a swimming costume at his house, and exposing himself to her in his car on numerous occasions.

After the sentence was handed down, the grandfather of the girl roared: “Do you call that justice? This man should be tied up.” The father of the victim then charged from the public gallery towards the accused, and had to be restrained by six prison officers and gardai.

The man was removed from the court but not formally arrested.

Following the disturbance Judge Moran said: “I understand the passion behind what just happened, but I have to do justice as I see it, as best I can. I have to do justice for the victim, family society as a whole and the accused. I’m not here as a brutal avenging angel to lash out vengeance on the accused.”

He ordered that Mr Keogh’s name be placed on the sex offenders list for life and said Mr Keogh must obey the Probation Service when his sentence his complete.

The family declined to make a public statement following the sentence, but on leaving the court said they were “very disappointed” and “devastated.”

Mr Keogh has previous convictions of indecent assault, indecent exposure and sexual assault, dating back to 1989. In 1997 he was given a two-year suspended sentence for sexual assault, however the mother of the victim was not aware of his criminal record.

The girl’s mother became aware of the alleged abuse while her daughter was in fourth class in a Limerick primary school.

Dr Davina Walsh of the Grenada Institute in Dublin, which offers services to adults who have committed crimes against children, gave evidence of Mr Keogh’s progress since he began attending the clinic in 1997.

“Previously Mr Keogh’s engagement was quite erratic and inconsistent. He was cancelling appointments and not reflecting on his behaviour,” said Dr Walsh.

However, she said there is now “a deep, marked difference” in Mr Keogh’s approach to the programme. The court heard that Mr Keogh had a history of depression and “has a strong sense of inadequacy,” which Mr Walsh said may have been a strong factor in his offending behaviour.

“He has used sexual fantasies as a means of escape and has acted out on that fantasy,” she said, at which point the victim’s mother yelled “And acts out on my child” and left the court.

Dr Walsh said it was her recommendation that Mr Keogh complete a 12-month group therapy programme to reduce the prospect of re-offending, however she said there was a six-month waiting list for this specific programme. She said it was “useful” that Mr Keogh acknowledged he is a paedophile, as it showed “he’s taking responsibility for his behaviour.”

“He has demonstrated guilt and remorse and is struggling to understand how he could have done something like this. The bottom line is that Mr Keogh needs to complete treatment whether that happens now or later,” she said.