‘I started looking at images of children online when I was 16’
By Peter McGuire
‘IF I HADN’T BEEN CAUGHT, I’D STILL BE DOING IT ’
There was a knock on the door. Jack was woken by the Garda in his bedroom. His mother, Jane, returned from her morning walk and found the police in her garden.
“They told me that they had identified our IP address and that someone in our house been downloading child sex abuse material,” says Jane. “I thought they had the wrong home. My daughter told me it was Jack.” Jack is in his early 20s and lives with his parents; his sister is few years younger.
Jack told his father. “It was so hard,” says Jack. “But I also felt like a weight had been lifted, because I had wanted to talk but how could I say what I was doing? I wanted to run, hide and die. If I hadn’t been caught, I’d probably still be doing it today.”
Jack is a sex offender who has engaged in both “contact” and “non-contact” abuse. He was 12 when he first abused physically a younger child. Within a year of this, a trusted adult sexually offended against him.
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