Taxi driver caught with hundreds of ‘grotesque and offensive’ child abuse images and videos is jailed for one year
17th October 2022
A taxi driver who was caught in possession of explicit child abuse material described by a judge as “grotesque and offensive” has been jailed for one year.
Donal Kelly (60) was caught with 120 videos and 303 images of children and infants being sexually abused, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.
Kelly is formerly of Seagrange Avenue, Baldoyle, Dublin and more recently of Killaha, Kenmare East, Co Kerry.
Sentencing him today, Judge Elma Sheahan said the court heard of this explanation with “disbelief” and that it showed Kelly had limited insight into his offending. She noted he has since engaged in therapy and has made significant progress since he started seeing a psychologist.
Judge Sheahan noted a number of aggravating factors in the case, including the “depravity” of the child abuse material, which she described as “grotesque and offensive”.
She noted one video depicted an abused infant being force-fed urine.
She also noted that Kelly admitted his guilt and co-operated with gardaí. He has committed to getting treatment for his offending and his mental health issues. He has lost his taxi licence and will be placed on the sex offenders register.
However, the judge said the offences had passed the threshold of a custodial sentence. She handed down a sentence of 18 months with the final six months suspended on a number of conditions.
Kelly pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of child abuse material at his home address on September 3, 2021. He has no previous convictions. The court heard he is a divorced man who has raised a family.
At a previous sentence hearing, Garda Sean Parker told Garret Baker SC, prosecuting, that gardaí became interested in a certain mobile phone number and Google account and traced the owner to a property in the Baldoyle area. Gardaí applied for a search warrant and in September 2020, they carried out a search of the house.
Kelly was home at the time and, when asked by gardaí if they would find images on his phone, he replied: “Yes.”
Gardaí found images and videos on two mobile phones and on three separate email accounts. The court heard 120 videos and 303 images depicting children being subjected to explicit sexual acts were found.
Videos showed babies and toddlers aged between one and three years being sexually abused.
Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, said that his client had been co-operative with gardaí and provided them with pin numbers for the mobile phones they seized. He said his client pleaded guilty at an early stage and has kept the gardaí up to date on all his movements.
Mr O’Higgins said watching child abuse material was something his client “drifted” into. He outlined a number of mental health issues his client suffers with.
He said Kelly was making good progress with his psychologist and he urged Judge Sheahan to consider a jail term as a last resort.