Ex-Garda Sergeant pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of child after online chat with ‘girl aged 13’
- 22:42, 15 Jun 2022
- Updated: 22:42, 15 Jun 2022
A RETIRED garda sergeant has pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation of a child after a sting by UK cops.
Thomas O’Rourke, 73, admitted to online chats of a sexualised nature five years ago with a girl he believed to be aged 13 during a sitting of Wicklow Circuit Criminal Court.
The married father of two pleaded guilty to two counts of the production of child pornography by engaging in sexualised conversations with a child.
Accused O’Rourke — who retired as a garda sergeant in 2003 after serving 34 years — also pleaded guilty to two counts of using information and communication technology for the sexual exploitation of a child.
The court heard that O’Rourke, who had the username “Tomrod”, engaged in conversation with an undercover cop in Wales who used the handle ‘Little-Kittie13’ in a chatroom on the Lycos Chat platform.
Det Garda Collins said the accused had asked ‘Little-Kittie13’ if she liked kissing and if the boy she had kissed had become aroused.
He also asked her if her parents shared the same bed and made love.
Det Garda Collins said such conversations with someone who had stated they were 13 constituted child pornography.
Although the offences were not at the highest level of crimes involving child pornography, Det Garda Collins told the court they still contained sexualised talk.
He remarked: “It could have been a different situation if they were not undercover officers.
However, the court heard there was no evidence of any child pornography among a total of 123,806 images and videos found on a series of devices they took from his home.
A psychologist and addiction therapist, Susan Byrne, gave evidence that O’Rourke had an addiction to online chat rooms.
Ms Byrne said the accused especially sought out sexualised chats with adult females, which was triggered by loneliness and boredom after he had retired as a garda.
O’Rourke, with an address in Glencap Commons, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow, was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court on a new date to be fixed for sentencing.