A Crossmaglen man who was found in possession of 126 extreme pornographic images involving animals has been handed a suspended sentence.
The 43-year-old’s legal representative told court: “This comes down to a lack of understanding and a degree of naivety.”
Ronan Gerard Hanratty, of Rathview Park, appeared for sentencing on two counts of possession of extreme pornographic images at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
Prosecution outlined that on June 4, 2018, police in Crossmaglen received a call from a member of the public regarding a post on Facebook page ‘Silent Justice’.
This post made reference to the defendant allegedly being in communications with persons.
Hanratty was subsequently arrested on a number of matters and during a search of his home four mobile phones were seized.
These were then examined leading to the discovery of 126 extreme images of sexual penetration of or by adults and animals.
Four interviews were conducted with the defendant and during these he largely made no comment other than admitting to the devices being his.
Prosecution revealed that the only entry on Hanratty’s record related to criminal damage in 1997.
Defence counsel stated: “This was a guilty plea at the first opportunity. He has no previous relevant convictions. This comes down to a lack of understanding and a degree of naivety.
“He now recognises the seriousness of this and has been assessed as having a low likelihood of reoffending.”
Hanratty was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.