PAEDOPHILE Timmy Duggan, who paid women to access their children for his sexual gratification, was jailed for seven years earlier today after a judge was told that his activities came to the attention of Gardaí when he worked in a Limerick supermarket.
His co-accused, a mother in her 30s, was jailed for 18 months after she admitted taking pictures of her six-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter and selling them to Duggan.
The woman told Gardaí that Duggan knew she was vulnerable as she told him she was experiencing money problems after the death of her partner.
She admitted sending Duggan nineteen images of her children between January 2018 and July 2019 and receiving €3,500 from him for the “child pornography” material.
35-year-old Duggan of Mountain Lodge, Annagh, Tralee first came to the notice of Gardaí when he was working as an assistant manager at a supermarket in Limerick in April 2016.
The father of 10 and 11-year-old girls discovered Duggan had befriended them in the supermarket and sent them requests for naked photos through Snapchat.
Duggan voluntarily presented himself at Mayorstone Garda Station and handed over his mobile phone, laptop and access to his social media accounts.
He was arrested and questioned again in 2019 after Gardaí suspected he had been engaging with women looking to access their children.
Duggan told Gardaí he was a sex addict and admitted “grooming” the two girls in Limerick three years earlier. He volunteered information to detectives about other incidents where he had received naked photos of children from their mothers.
Jailing Duggan and his female co-accused at Tralee Circuit Court, Judge Elva Duffy said his actions were “disturbing, depraved and obscene”.
She added that the role of the mothers involved was “a breach of trust of the most fundamental kind”.
A probation report on Duggan concluded that he was of a “higher than average risk of reoffending”.
A report on the woman highlighted concerns that she continued to lack insight into her role.
Judge Duffy said the woman seemed to lack understanding that the main reason her children were removed from her was because she couldn’t be trusted with their care.
The woman was recently given the opportunity to explain to her children what she had done and is being afforded regular supervised visitation.
The children have indicated to social workers that they still want a relationship with her in the future.
Judge Dufy said the woman had given birth to a third child since her children were taken into care, and that this child was in the full-time care of its father.
Duggan also told Gardaí he contacted the mother of a three-year-old boy, seeking access to him, but this did not materialise.
Judge Duffy said women who assisted Duggan by either providing images of their children or allowing him physical access to them “should have been protecting them but they offered them up to the accused for financial gain”.
He also admitted attempting to lure two girls into his car in October 2019 in County Kerry by offering them cash to allow him perform a sex act in front of them.
He told Gardaí he was introduced to another mother of a seven-year-old girl through a female sex worker who he used to pay to perform sex acts on him.
Duggan admitted paying the sex worker and the girl’s mother €400 each to get access to the girl.
He paid the girl’s mother for naked images and videos of her daughter, and he was also allowed shower her.
He admitted sexually assaulting the girl, inciting her to touch his private parts, and performing a sex act with the girl’s mother having agreed to have the child present.
Duggan, who appeared before the court by video link from the Midlands Prison, admitted grooming the girl by giving her gifts including roller blades, a vanity table and make-up.
Judge Duffy said Duggan was calculating and planned his offences. He preyed on the women and persuaded them to betray their relationship with their children.
She sentenced Duggan to eight years in jail with the final year suspended. The sentence was backdated to October 19, 2021 when Duggan was initially taken into custody and has remained since.
Sources familiar with the case said he is likely to be released from custody within three years, given time already served and remission; for having entered early guilty pleas and cooperating with Gardaí.
Judge Duffy ordered that Duggan could no longer use computers with internet access or mobile phones with cameras, unless he has authority to do so from the probation services or Gardaí.
He must also make any electronic equipment he is in charge of available to agencies working with him after his release.
He was ordered to engage with the probation services; attend a sexual offenders treatment programme and engage with psychological counselling.
Imposing a three-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended on Duggan’s female co-accused, Judge Duffy ordered her to engage with the probation services and undertake an addiction therapy programme.
Duggan and the woman were placed on a sex offenders register for an indefinite period.
Gardaí are continuing to pursue the possibility of additional child sex offences arising out of their investigation.
A woman alleged to have engaged with Duggan about arranging a child for sexual abuse is awaiting trial on charges alleging child sex exploitation.
Duggan was represented by junior counsel Katie O’Connell and senior counsel Mark Nicholas, instructed by solicitor Eimear Griffin of Padraig O’Connell Solicitors, Killarney.