Man jailed for sexual crime gets extra 18 months in prison

By Sonya Mclean

A man previously jailed for sexual exploitation will serve an additional 18 months in prison after he posed online as a young girl and induced other girls to send him explicit images and videos of themselves.

In January 2018 Matthew Horan (27) of St John’s Crescent, Clondalkin, was jailed after Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he was caught in possession of thousands of child porn images and coerced young girls to send him sexually graphic pictures and videos of themselves between April 2014 and July 2016.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him then to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

On Thursday, December 19, Sergeant David Connolly told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that in January 2017 gardai searched Horan’s home and seized a number of digital devices.

These were later analysed and found to contain numerous movies and images of child pornography.

The gardai also discovered conversations Horan had with a 12-year-old girl who was later identified.

Horan had posed as a young girl on Snapchat and induced and encouraged the 12-year-old to send him sexually explicit images and videos of herself.

He then used these images to interact with another young girl, posing as a teenage girl by claiming that he was the girl depicted in the material. This second girl was not identified but gardai believe she was aged between 11 and 13 years old.

Sgt Connolly said again Horan induced this girl to send him sexually explicit videos and images of herself.

Horan was interviewed in September 2018 and immediately took full responsibility. Horan told gardai that the family of any identified child should be alerted and be informed that he was willing to co-operate with the investigation.

Mr Berry told the court that although the first girl was identified and her parents alerted they had asked that she have nothing to do with the case and as such Horan’s guilty pleas assisted in his prosecution.

Mr Berry told Judge Nolan that Horan had been sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty from the District Court.

Horan confirmed his plea of guilty to possession of child pornography on his phone at Clondalkin Garda Station on January 21, 2017. The additional charges include charges of sexual exploitation, production of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.

Judge Nolan said Horan seemed to live in his own world and in his own room but it was here that “he managed to do a lot of damage” traumatising the young girls. He said he hoped that Horan would take the steps to reform while serving his prison sentence.

Judge Nolan acknowledged that these recent offences could have been dealt with last year but said that Horan still needed to serve additional time in prison.

He sentenced him to three-and-a-half years in prison. He made this consecutive to the term he is already serving, but suspended the final two years of that time.

Patrick Gageby SC, defending, said at the sentence hearing last year that his client was a perpetual loner who was on the autism spectrum. He said the death of his mother when he was aged three left his father adrift and this had an effect on his upbringing.

Counsel said that a psychological report stated that “fixated interests of people on the autism spectrum often functions as a way of reducing stress”. He added that it was hard to see if there were any other interests in Horan’s life.

Mr Gageby said Horan lived a dingy existence and that since completing his Leaving Cert in 2009 he had done nothing except to be at home and be on the computer.

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