A Mayo man, who posed as a 17-year old girl on Facebook and encouraged teenage boys to send him naked photographs of themselves, has been jailed for 18 months.

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that during Garda interviews, 29 -year old Mark Keogh of Balla Road, Castlebar repeatedly claimed that his motivation was because he believed he had a physical abnormality, and he wanted to see if anyone else was the same.

 When Gardaí raided his home, they found over 700 sexually explicit images of children, around 400 of which were images of the 12 victims.

The court heard that one of the boy's parents attended at a local station and expressed concerns over the contact his son had with a person on Facebook.

 This led to the investigation where Gardai discovered that Mark Keogh had set up a Facebook account under a fake name “Nicole Doyle” in July 2013. He then made friends with 14 teenage boys sent them a total of 321 requests for naked photographs of themselves.

Mark Keogh pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 14 charges of sexual exploitation of a child on dates between November 2013 and May 2014 and possession of child pornography at his then home in Kerdiff Close, Naas, Co Kildare on February 9, 2016.

He has no previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan suspended the final three and a half years of a five year prison term.

 He noted that Mark Keogh has “severe autism”, psychiatric and psychological problems and needs specialist help for the rest of his life.

 

 

 

 

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