10 month sentence for man with child pornography convictions who failed to update Gardai on whereabouts

Garda told Mohammed Yaqub vigilante groups were hunting him down

Conor McHugh

Reporter:

Conor McHugh

Email:

conor@leinsterleader.ie

10 month sentence for man with  child pornography convictions who failed to update Gardai on whereabouts

The case was heard Naas District Court on Thursday

A man has been jailed for 10 months for failing to inform gardai of his presence in the country.

The man, Mohammed Yaqub, 55, of Allenview, Allenwood - although he had in more recent times been living in his car - has convictions in the UK for possession of child pornography, and is on the sex offenders register there.

As part of the conditions of being on that register Mr Yaqub is required to inform policing authorities of a change of address.

He served time in prison for the offences, having been handed a 22 month sentence in a Glasgow court in March 2014.

Until Thursday’s court, he had no convictions in Ireland.

Garda Stephen Coller told Judge Desmond Zaidan at Naas District Court last Thursday, May 23, that the defendant was arrested on March 15 last.

He said it was understood that he was living in Ireland since 2016.

During an initial court hearing in March Mr Yaqub was granted bail, despite garda objections. However on April 11, the defendant went into voluntary custody for safety reasons.

Representing him, barrister Aisling Murphy told the court that her client had served his time in the UK for his previous convictions. “He wants me to explain to the court that if he knew he was supposed to tell the Gardai he would have done so. He thought these conditions only applied in the UK.

“His stay in Ireland has not been pleasant,” she said, adding: “He dearly regrets moving here. He has been attacked on the street, and attacked with a hammer here in Naas.”

She said that as soon as he was released from custody he would be returning home to the UK.

Judge Zaidan was handed a letter from the defendant. He read pieces of it into the record of the court. It outlined how he had serious concerns for his own safety. It outlined how he went to Portlaoise Garda Station and was told by a sargent there that vigilante groups were hunting him down with the intention of doing serious harm.

Sgt Brian Jacob told the court that it was the State’s position that Mr Yaqub’s failure to tell  Gardai of his whereabouts was a “deliberate omission”.

Judge Zaidan said that while “right thinking people would have  a concern about Mr Yaqub living in their neighbourhood” that imposing punishment is not the remit of the public or vigilante groups.

He imposed a 10 month sentence.