Man caught taking picture under skirt on Luas had thousands of images of women and girls and disturbing video of child abuse

A man who came to Ireland from Scotland for a “fresh start” has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for molestation and possession of images of extreme child abuse.

00,000 images of women’s and girls’ legs, groins and buttocks, including “upskirt” photos of schoolgirls, were found on Paul Boyle’s mobile phone when an off-duty Garda spotted him engaged in suspicious behavior on a Luas carriage.

A subsequent search of Boyle’s home at Sandyford View, Blackglen Road, Dublin 18 turned up hundreds of thousands of similar images.

Dublin Criminal Circuit Court heard that on 16 December 2019 the off-duty Garda noticed a fellow passenger moving through the carriage holding a mobile phone below waist level.

Detective Garda Colm Grogan told Eoin Lawlor, BL, prosecutors that the Garda could see from the reflection in the Luas window that the man was taking pictures of a woman’s buttocks.

The Garda followed the man from the Luas, identified themselves, and confronted him. He then alerted a police officer on duty and the man’s phone was confiscated. He was taken to Dundrum Garda train station. The man refused to give Gardaí his name and address, but eventually handed over his work ID.

Boyle (45) was interrogated but made no admission to gardaí.

His cellphone was searched and found 40,000 pictures. These included upskirt pictures of girls in school uniforms, Det Gda Grogan told the court.

A search warrant was obtained for Boyle’s house and several USB keys were found and confiscated. More than half a million images were found on a flash drive; 275,800 were images of the groin and buttocks of women, young ladies and girls. These images were taken between June 2018 and January 2020.

The court heard a disturbing child abuse video was also found on a USB stick, showing an eight-year-old child being tied up and raped. Det Gda Grogan told the court that he learned from contacting authorities in other countries that this video first came to light in 2002 and that the child has since been located and cared for.

He said the video was extremely explicit and that it was the first time Gardaí had become aware of the video.

Other pictures confiscated by Gardaí were of Boyle’s associates. When contacted, these women were very distressed and felt shocked and hurt.

Reports on the impact of the victims were presented to the court. Boyle has several previous convictions from his time in Scotland, some of which were of a similar nature.

Last March, Boyle pleaded guilty to harassment at a location in the city of Dublin between November and December 2019. He also admitted to possessing child abuse images, the video, at his home on January 28, 2020.

Morgan Shelley, BL, defending, said his client is originally from Scotland and came to Ireland in 2018 for a “fresh start”.

The court heard Boyle was previously addicted to alcohol and gambling and deeply regretted his actions. Mr Shelley said his client had a good work history and had entered a guilty plea, sparing his victims from testifying.

A psychiatric evaluation found Boyle to be at moderate risk of recurrence but appears to be focused on his recovery. However, it was also said that he found the detention “impossible” and “very difficult”.

Judge Martin Nolan described Boyle’s conduct as “industrial photographing and recording of young children and women.” He said the defendant did not limit himself to taking pictures at his place of work but instead photographed women and girls across Dublin, particularly in the Ranelagh area.

Regarding the child molestation video, Judge Nolan described it as a highly explicit 15-minute video in which an eight-year-old child is molested. He also said Boyle’s previous convictions were an aggravating factor in this case.

Judge Nolan considered Boyle’s guilty plea and that he was remorseful, regretful and ashamed of his actions.

Judge Nolan sentenced Boyle to three years in prison for molestation. He was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of child pornography, which follows the other sentence.

However, Judge Nolan stayed the last two and a half years, dating them to the time when Boyle was taken into custody in March 2021. He ordered Boyle never to have any form of contact with any of the victims he took pictures of and also imposed two years post-release post-release custody. Man caught taking picture under skirt on Luas had thousands of images of women and girls and disturbing video of child abuse

Fry Electronics Team

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