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Facebook images uploaded to porn site

ENNIS District Court has heard of the perils of social media after gardaí outlined how a Shannon man uploaded Facebook profile images of female friends to a porn site and added explicit captions.

Evan Meehan (23), of Dernish Lawn, admitted to 30 charges of knowingly making a false report tending to show that an offence had been committed, contrary to Section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1976.

The offences relate to dates between October 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

On Wednesday, Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court that Meehan had taken images of a number of girlfriends who were known to him from Facebook and he wrote comments on the pictures.

“He then put them up on a porn site. Because of the comments he had written and how the ladies were dressed, there was sexual connotation attached. They found out and were very upset and distressed,” Inspector Kennedy stated.

He said Meehan was identified as the person responsible and when the gardaí met with him he was “very co-operative”.

“He took the pictures down off the system when he was asked and there has been no further deviation,” he said.

The inspector said this was “an extensive investigation”, led by Detective Paul Coleman and Garda Orla Leonard.

“It was a very unusual case and we all learned a great deal about social media and the trepidations of using social media and how it can be used,” Inspector Kennedy outlined.

Defence solicitor Stiofán Fitzpatrick outlined that his client was 19-years-old when he committed these offences and was someone who was “introverted” and would have found himself on his own a lot.

He said he was currently undertaking an apprenticeship with Lufthansa and had taken steps to address underlying issues “which caused him to do something so foolish”.

He said he had a number of counselling sessions and enrolled in a course to address these issues.
Mr Fitzpatrick said Meehan fully co-operated with the gardaí and made no effort to justify what he had done.

“His parents are shocked by it and it has had a significant impact on his family. In the neighbourhood where they live, they are shunned to a certain degree. Like anything in a small community, opinions have been formed,” he said.

The court heard that Meehan has no previous convictions.

Judge Patrick Durcan, presiding, said his concern was that “there are issues that need to be dealt with and that require professional intervention”.

He said he was not happy to deal with this by placing the defendant on a probation bond, but said he would adjourn the case for three months, requiring Meehan to be under probation supervision.

Addressing Meehan, Judge Durcan said he appreciated the difficulties he had but he said “there are people out there who you have hurt”.

By Carol Byrne

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