April 2022

Ex-teacher caught with child sex abuse images and videos in Cork avoids jail

A former teacher who was caught with hundreds of child sex abuse images at his home in East Cork was given a three-year suspended sentence on Thursday.

The 33-year-old man pleaded guilty to the possession of child sexual abuse images in Midleton, County Cork, and he admitted knowingly producing child pornography between June 3 and July 4, 2017.

Detective Garda Kieran Crowley said that the second count related to a document from a Skype communication where the defendant communicated with other men and expressed fantasies of sexual acts. The actual child sexual abuse material consisted of images and videos.

Judge Helen Boyle said the count of production of child sexual abuse images by Alan Cashman was at the low end of such offences as the facts giving rise to this particular prosecution were an unusual iteration of a pornography production charge. The judge found the child pornography possession was at the mid-range of such offences.

Imposing the fully suspended sentence, the judge took into consideration mitigating factors put forward by defence senior counsel Elizabeth O’Connell. These included the defendant’s cooperation, the absence of risk factors for possible future offending, the identification of passwords for devices to gardaí and early admissions to the offences.

One of the main factors taken into consideration by Judge Boyle was what she described as his long history of psychiatric difficulties.

Det. Sgt Crowley said gardaí went to the home of the accused on December 9, 2018, with a warrant to search for images of child abuse. “In the search, Alan Cashman presented himself as the person we were looking for. He was living in a mobile home on the property. He invited gardaí into it even though the warrant did not cover it.

“He handed over a number of electronic devices including laptops and a phone and he then came to the station voluntarily and provided an interview where he admitted downloading child pornography.

“There was a total of 271 images and 33 videos (running to over four hours of material). 164 were child sexual abuse images. 107 were of children who were exposed. Of the videos, 31 were of child sex abuse and two were of children exposed,” Det. Sgt Crowley said.

The detective explained that the count of producing child pornographic material related to the document which was created from comments made in the course of Skype communications with other men.

During interviews with gardaí, Alan Cashman said he did not get sexual gratification from any of the material and that he accessed it more out of curiosity.

Alan Cashman told them that after gardaí first called to his home in December 2018 he resigned his position as a teacher the following day. The school was not identified in court. The detective said the defendant’s cooperation with gardaí extended to providing them with passwords to access devices.

Both charges related to a period between May 29, 2016, and July 22, 2016, at his home at Templenacarriga, Midleton, County Cork. “He has no previous convictions and there have been no difficulties since,” Ms O’Connell said.