Judge orders reports of man caught in ‘stunt’ by child hunting rangers – The Irish Times

A man has pleaded guilty to attempting to sexually exploit children after members of a vigilante group posed as a 14-year-old girl and arranged to meet him at a cafe in Cork.

Tim Bowen, 45, of Cottage View, Monkstown, Cork, was sent to Cork District Criminal Court for sentencing Thursday after he earlier pleaded guilty to two counts stemming from hoaxing by a pedophile hunter group.

Bowen pleaded guilty to attempting to communicate with a child for the purpose of facilitating the sexual exploitation of that child on dates between July 4 and July 26, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to meet the child at Costa Coffee in Bishopstown on July 26, 2019 for the purpose of doing something that constituted sexual exploitation, namely sexual assault .

Prosecuting attorney Jane Hyland told Judge Sarah Berkeley that the state was in a position to move forward and that Sgt. Gary Duggan, who investigated the matter, was in court to clarify the facts in the case.

Ms Hyland told the court that Bowen was speaking online with someone he believed to be a child, but was in fact a member of a “baby hunting watchdog”. He arranged to meet the child but was instead met by members of the group who contacted Gardaí.

Defense attorney Sinead Behan said the charges arose from “a hoax by a vigilante group” and while her client pleaded guilty to both, there were a number of cases she would like to bring to the court’s attention, including that Bowen has no previous convictions for similar crimes.

She said he lost his job as a result of the publicity about the case and that his marriage also broke down. Now in a relationship with a new partner, who was his caregiver, it caused him great distress and led to a suicide attempt.

Ms Behan said while she was happy to proceed to hear the facts of the case, she wondered if it would be in the interests of the court if she were to seek a report on her client from a forensic psychologist, to explore his behaviour. that led to the accident.

Judge Berkeley said the case appeared complex with severe penalties, and agreed that the court would benefit from a report from a forensic psychologist on Bowen’s behavior, including ADHD and bipolar conditions, which could help her assess the risks of any future crime. She said she felt the court would also benefit from a psychiatrist’s report on Bowen’s mental state at the time and move forward.

Ms Behan said her client is willing to participate in Safer Lives Group Action Therapy, a community-based therapeutic group work program for men convicted of sexual violence or exploitation offenses.

Judge Berkeley requested that Bowen work with the program under the supervision of the Probation Service and ordered him on bail to appear again on November 10.

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