March 2015

Dublin man watched young boy being sexually abused by a convicted paedophile live on webcam


A Dublin man who was watching a young boy being sexually abused by a convicted sex offender on webcam has been sentenced to five and half years for possessing, distributing and producing child abuse images.

Glen McGowan (38) met the Meath paedophile through a peer to peer file sharing computer programme called Gigatribe where a number of users were trading images, videos and texts containing child abuse images

The Meath man was jailed for 12 years at the Central Criminal Court in October 2010 for possession and production of child abuse images, rape and sexual exploitation. He was involved in grooming children in the local area and bringing them back to his home where he made pornographic videos.

McGowan, whose address is not to be published by order of Tallaght District Court, pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of indecent images of children, two charges of distribution of those images and one charge of production of child abuse images on dates between December 2010 and July 2012.

Judge Nolan suspended the final two years of the sentence on strict conditions.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today Detective Garda Michael McGrath told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that gardaí discovered the images of child abuse at McGowan’s home in July 2011 following an intelligence led operation.

Further analysis of McGowan’s computer equipment showed his use of Gigatribe application and chat logs with the Meath man.

One file shared between the two men showed McGowan having a conversation across Webcam with a 13-year-old boy while he was in the bath in the Meath man’s home. The boy was later abused and this was also filmed and shared.

McGowan was subsequently charged with production of child pornography on the basis that he was an accessory to it.

Det Gda McGrath accepted a suggestion from Mr Naidoo that McGowan was “encouraging the man to produce child porn because he knew the boy was being used as the subject of a pornographic film”.

He said 56,647 files containing videos, texts and images were found on McGowan’s computer equipment following the search of his home on July 25, 2011.

He was arrested in September 2012 and interviewed twice which led to a follow-up search of his home and more computer images were found.

McGowan admitted using the Gigatribe file sharing programme nearly every day to trade pornography with other users. He made his own passwords available so users could also access any material on his account.

Det Gda McGrath agreed with Ronan Kennedy BL, defending, that McGowan lived with his elderly parents who were decent people. He agreed that he had effectively been living as a recluse, was very isolated, drank heavily and spent a lot of his time online.

Det Gda McGrath accepted that McGowan was ashamed of himself, was genuinely remorseful and expressed appropriate empathy for the children.

Judge Nolan said McGowan was charged with “an almost full kaleidoscope of child pornography” which he said was “both unsettling and disturbing”.

He took into account his personal circumstances and acknowledged that the end of a happy relationship led McGowan to becoming a recluse, abusing alcohol, gravitating towards child abuse images and communicating with “a very sinister individual”.