A Kerry man has been sentenced to eight years in prison with the final year suspended after pleading guilty to 22 crimes, including sexual assault of a child.
35-year-old Timmy Duggan, of Mountain Lodge, Annagh, Tralee was sentenced today at Tralee Circuit Court, having pleaded guilty to 22 counts, including sexual exploitation of children, and sexual abuse of children, relating to offences between 2015 and 2021.
Some of the offences involved paying mothers for indecent images of their children, or paying for physical access to their children for the purposes of sexual gratification.
One of the mothers involved, a co-accused in the case, was sentenced to three years in prison with the final 18 months suspended.
Four books of evidence were served on Mr Duggan, the first of which involved an incident in which Mr Duggan asked a ten-year-old girl and an eleven-year-old girl for naked images on Snapchat in April 2016.
When Mr Duggan’s phone was examined, gardaí found unrelated images of child pornography.
The second set of charges which Mr Duggan pleaded guilty to, involved him encouraging a mother to produce and distribute naked images of her three-year-old son to Mr Duggan, and engaging in what Judge Elva Duffy called a disturbed and depraved conversation about committing sex acts on the boy.
The mother in this incident has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her, and will face trial at a later date.
The third set of charges related to Mr Duggan paying the co-accused 19 times for naked images of her nine-year-old and six-year-old daughters, and separately approaching a nine-year-old and eleven-year-old outside their house with a €50 note offering them money for sexual acts.
The fourth book of evidence served involved Mr Duggan paying a mother for physical access and naked images of the woman’s daughter, who was between five and seven years old at the time of the offending.
He also admitted to paying a family friend for access to the same child, who he sexually assaulted.
Judge Elva Duffy said the aggravating factors in Mr Duggan’s case included the multiplicity and extended time period of the offending, as well as the level of pre-meditation and the breach of trust involved.
Judge Duffy said mitigating factors included the full admissions and early guilty pleas submitted by Mr Duggan, his personal history which showed no previous convictions and the tragic death of his brother in 2015.
The sentences relating to the first three books of evidence are to run concurrently for four years, while he was also sentenced to a consecutive four years for the fourth book of evidence, bringing his overall sentence to eight years.
Judge Duffy suspended the final year of this sentence for three years on several conditions, including that he does not own any electronic devices with access to the internet, or any mobile phone that can take photos, without prior permission of gardaí or the probation services.
The sentence is also backdated to when he first went into custody, the 19th October last year, meaning he will serve a maximum of six more years in prison, with the potential for remission of a further 25% of the sentence.
The court heard that Mr Duggan is currently considered to be at an above average risk of re-offending.
The co-accused was sentenced to three years in prison for sexual exploitation and accepting money for naked images of her child, with the final 18 months suspended for three years.
All children who were victims in this case have been taken into state care.