Man gets suspended sentence for possession of child abuse material
21st October 2022
A FORMER MEMBER of the Irish Defence Forces has been given a sixteen-month suspended sentence for the possession of child abuse material.
Adrian Short (45) of Corbetstown, Killucan, Co Westmeath, pleaded guilty to possession of seven images and 14 videos of child pornography at Griffeen Glen Drive, Lucan, Co Dublin on 29 March, 2021.
Passing sentence today Judge Melanie Greally said “the videos in particular contained extreme content of children as young as two years, which included sexual intercourse between children and adults”.
Judge Greally said there was no other content stored on any other of Short’s devices and that he had been fully forthright, cooperative and attended his Garda interview voluntary.
The judge said according to the probation report he is at low risk of reoffending and that the offence was in the mid-range of offending.
She also noted the mitigating factors include his early guilty plea, his high level of cooperation, the lack of previous convictions, his personal history and in particular, his past personal trauma.
Other mitigating factors include the collateral damage of the break-up of his marriage and his now distant relationship with his children.
Short also has a very positive probation report and has expressed remorse and regret for his actions.
The judge sentenced Short to sixteen months in prison, suspended in full.
Short must remain under the supervision of the probation services for sixteen months and he must submit to further monitoring and risk assessments as directed by the probation services. He must also continue to attend counselling as directed.
Detective Garda Sharon Duncan previously told the court that a warrant was obtained to search a property following a referral from the Garda National Protective Bureau.
A search was carried out on 29 March 2021, and Short handed a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone to Gardaí.
The court heard other devices were seized as part of the search, but were clean.
The defendant made a statement to Gardaí during the search, admitting that he had previously accessed child abuse material, which had been deleted, and accessed it again two days before the date of the search.
The phone contained sexually explicit images of children and videos of adults engaged in the sexual abuse of children.
Short told Gardaí he had been sexually abused by his father as a child, and his father had been prosecuted for this.
Detective Duncan agreed with Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the defendant admitted in a later interview that he had used other platforms, but could not recall their names.
Short has no previous convictions. Tusla carried out an investigation but had no concerns.
Detective Duncan said Short accessed the images using the Telegram app, and was identified as he used his phone number as his ID.
The detective said she was not aware that any payments had been made.
Detective Duncan agreed with David Staunton, BL, for the defence, that Short had co-operated and Tusla had no concerns following their separate investigation.
Staunton told the judge that the historic sex abuse in the defendant’s family has caused great personal shame to Short and his family.
Two of his siblings also died in tragic circumstances when he was a teenager.
Short left school at 14 before joining the Irish Defence Forces at the age of 21. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the Military Archives until 2019.
Staunton said the situation had come as a “great shock” to the defendant’s wife and family. He also lost a new job as a result of the publicity.
Staunton said Short accepted the seriousness of his behaviour and its ramifications.
Letters from the defendant, his ex-wife, father-in-law, counsellor, and a neighbour were handed into the court.