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Dublin man caught with child porn after gardaí intercept ‘child sex doll’ avoids jail

The Judge said said while the offence was ‘not a victimless crime’, Joel Davantes’ (56) offending was at the lower end of the scale

SOnya McLeanSunday World

A man who was caught with 35 images of child abuse material after gardaí intercepted the delivery of what was considered a child sex doll has been given a 12-month suspended sentence.

Joel Davantes (56) of Homefarm Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to being in possession of child pornography on October 25, 2019.

Diana Staurt BL, prosecuting, confirmed that although there was no criminal liability in relation to the doll, it caused gardaí concern and led to a search of Davantes’s home.

The doll was delivered by controlled delivery and Davantes told officers that he did not think it was a sex doll. The home was searched and phones, a laptop and a tablet were seized.

The images that were later discovered were “determined to be child abuse material” and Ms Stuart said that the images had been taken from the internet.

Davantes, who has no previous convictions, was interviewed but nothing of evidential value came from his questioning by gardaí, counsel said.

Luigi Rea BL, defending submitted that his client’s plea of guilty was “helpful” to his prosecution.

The case was adjourned to allow for the preparation of a report from the Probation Service after evidence was first heard last July.

On Monday Judge Elma Sheahan sentenced Davantes to 12 months in prison which she suspended in full on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for 12 months.

She said while the offence was “not a victimless crime” Davantes' offending was at the lower end of the scale as it was “a limited number of images”.

She noted that a report from probation and psychological services put Davantes “at a low risk of re-offending”.

Judge Sheahan took into account that Davantes had entered an early guilty plea, had no previous convictions and had provided for his younger siblings when his father died at a young age.

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