A young Dublin man has been jailed for 15 months for possessing images and videos showing children being sexually abused, including videos of the abuse of an 18-month-old girl.
Conor Emmet, 20, from Northway Estate, Finglas, Dublin, pleaded guilty at an early stage and told gardaí he was glad he had been caught.
But Central Criminal Court Judge Karen O'Connor said these crimes were not victimless and she had no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence.
The court had heard that Emmet came to garda attention after an operation involving the FBI and Europol.
His home was raided in May 2016 and two laptops and a mobile phone were seized.
Gardaí found almost 6,000 images and more than 300 videos on the devices.
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Detective Garda Brid Wallace of the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau told the court that one video showed an 18-month-old baby girl being sexually abused.
Det Wallace said the child did not recall the abuse but had suffered serious, life changing injuries.
She told the court the child had been identified in Thailand and had been taken to safety.
She said gardaí also found an interactive book about paedophilia on Emmet's computer.
Emmet told gardaí he first accessed images of child sexual abuse when he was 16.
He told a psychiatrist he was looking at the material because it interested him. He said he was glad he had been caught.
The court heard he had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and that he had engaged with support group One in Four on a therapeutic intervention programme and had made good progress.
Judge O'Connor said the material was at the upper end of seriousness. She said she had heard very explicit and graphic details about the videos, including the videos of a very young toddler.
The judge said she had considered a non-custodial sentence but in all the circumstances, she had no alternative but to jail Emmet.
Judge O'Connor said the maximum sentence was five years. She considered the appropriate sentence in all the circumstances was two and a half years. She suspended the last 15 months and imposed a period of post-release supervision for that time.