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Global investigation into child porn uncovers horrific child abuse in Tipperary

By Ralph Riegel

A Tipperary-based man recorded his brother raping and sexually torturing his severely disabled six year old nephew so the clips could be traded online for other abuse images.

The child pornography images were only traced to an address in Tipperary after Gardai received information from Australian and New Zealand police that there was an Irish link to an horrific abuse website under international investigation.

The investigation, code named Operation Amethyst, led to a series of raids across Ireland by the Garda computer crimes and child pornography unit.

Such was the scale of the investigation that Europol, Interpol and the FBI were consulted.

The revelation came as the Eastern European father, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his nephew, pleaded guilty to four separate charges of production of child pornography before Tipperary Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Tom Teehan was told the nature of the images was "extremely scandalous" and that the court should be cleared for the hearing because the details were so horrific.

The charges were brought contrary to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.

Judge Teehan was told that, following a series of Garda raids on addresses in Tipperary including a business plant and a family home, a total of 12,427 images files and 68 video files were recovered.

The main raid was conducted on March 25 2015.

Items seized included files on computers, external hard drives and even a USB memory stick.

The offences involved occurred at a number of addresses in Tipperary between January 1 2014 and March 28 2015.

Detective Siobhan Doyle said some of the files depicted the rape and sexual abuse of the severely disabled six year old nephew of the defendant.

Judge Teehan was told that the 27 year old defendant knew his older brother was interested in sexually explicit images of children ranging in age from toddlers to six year olds including both boys and girls.

Some of the most horrific images discovered by Gardai depicted the defendant abusing the child.

Judge Teehan was told that the purpose of recording the abuse was that it could be traded online for other images of child abuse.

Australian police briefed Gardai about a child pornography website it had traced where a man with the nicknames 'The Master' and 'Little Bear' was attempting to organise the exchange of abusive images.

The nicknames referred to the defendant's Tipperary-based brother.

In one chat post 'The Master' said that he was: "interested in little girls aged nought to seven but only has access to a young boy aged six."

The defendant is a qualified IT worker and had moved to Ireland to work with his older brother in his newly established business.

He told Gardai that his older brother was more powerful than he was.

The defendant also claimed to have been abused himself while he was a child.

"He said he always did what his brother told him to," one Garda statement revealed.

The defendant told Gardai he did what his brother told him even when he realised what was happening was wrong.

Such is the severe nature of the disability the young victim was born with, he cannot speak and requires round the clock care.

The little boy also has mobility problems and is incontinent.

The child's father has since appeared before the Central Criminal Court on separate charges.

He received a 20 year prison sentence.

Detective Doyle said that, when Gardai first called to the home of the defendant's brother, the officers immediately recognised the disabled boy, who was spotted holding his father's hand, as the same youngster being abused in the online images.

 He was further identified as the victim of the abuse from a distinctive blanket on which he was lying in the video-tapes - with an identical blanket being found in the home of the defendant's brother.

Detective Doyle warned that the images involved represented: "One of the worst cases our unit has ever come across."

Judge Teehan was told by social worker, Terry Bradshaw, that the little boy had experienced "sexual abuse of the most extreme kind."

 "I believe that every time someone views these images it constitutes ongoing abuse and violation of (the youngster)."

Mr Bradshaw said that, given existing technology, it was virtually impossible to retrieve the images of the youngster that had now gone online.

One of the tragic aspects of the case is that the child involved was very fond of his father.

The defendant remained silent with his head bowed throughout the hearing.

Judge Teehan said he will impose sentence tomorrow.

Independent.ie

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