March 2021

Former bank worker caught with thousands of child sexual abuse images avoids jail

A former bank worker caught with thousands of sexually explicit images of children has been given a fully suspended sentence after saying he believed they were actors posing as children

Robert Traynor (54) told gardaí that he believed the images were of adults posing as children, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Traynor, with an address in Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty to possession of 1,938 images and 183 videos of child sexual abuse on February 2, 2018.

He also admitted the production of 1,650 computer generated images on September 22, 2014, contrary to the 1998 child trafficking pornography act.

Sentencing him, Judge Pauline Codd said the offending material involved the “gross exploitation” of children, which she described as “abhorrent”.

“The onus is on the courts to protect children from such vile exploitation,” she said.

She handed down a two-and-a-half year sentence and suspended it on a number of conditions, including that Traynor remain under the supervision of the Probation Services for three years and continue to engage in sex offender therapy.

As part of an ongoing garda operation into online child exploitation, a computer address was linked to the possession of “child sexual abuse” images and videos in an online “peer to peer” network.

Traynor’s home was linked to this computer through his internet provider Eir and gardaí went to the house in February 2018.

Under caution, Traynor told gardaí that he had downloaded erotic material but said he believed the images and videos were of adults posing as children.

The court heard Traynor had searched for the images using the Tor browser, which allows users to hide their location

An external disk drive seized by gardaí was found to contain 65 video files and hundreds of images, the court heard. These images showed girls aged between six and 12 posing for the camera where they were sexually exposed.

Over 2,000 computer generated images found in an encrypted folder depicted young girls using sex toys or lying next to naked males.

Traynor told gardaí after his arrest that the images were “skirting the boundaries” but were not “child pornography”, .