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Man caught with sex abuse videos of babies as young as 2 avoids jail

An Irish man has been given a fully-suspended 16-month sentence for possessing “extreme” child abuse material.

Adrian Short – a 45-year-old ex-Irish Defence Forces non-commissioned officer from Westmeath – pleaded guilty to possessing 7 images and 14 videos of child abuse material.

Passing sentence last Friday, Judge Melanie Greally said that “the videos in particular contained extreme content of children as young as two years, which included sexual intercourse between children and adults.”

However, after taking into account what she viewed as mitigating factors, the judge decided to hand down a fully-suspended 16-month sentence.

This means that Short will not spend a day in prison as long as he remains under the supervision of probation services for the 16-month duration.

These “mitigating factors” include Short’s early guilty plea, his high level of cooperation with the authorities’ investigations, and the fact that he had no prior convictions. Greally also noted Short’s stated remorse for his actions.

The Westmeath man also told police that he was abused by his father as a child, and that his father had been prosecuted for this – another factor which Greally took into account in her sentencing.

Based on all of this, the judge said that according to Short’s probation report, he is at low risk of re-offending and that his offence was in the mid-range of offences.

David Staunton BL, who represented the defendant in court, said that the development had come as a “great shock” to Short’s wife and family, and that he had lost a new job following the case’s media coverage.

Recently Gript asked Justice Minister Helen McEntee about what some see as soft-sentencing in the Irish courts for serious offences. Her response can be viewed below.

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