A FATHER-of-three who filmed a woman during sex with her and shared the video on Snapchat without her consent has been jailed for six months.
The woman told a court she felt “violated and traumatised” after Conor Flynn (47) sent the clip to his “top contacts” on the messaging app.
Flynn met her while they were both in addiction recovery, and she was performing a sex act on him at his home when he recorded her without her knowledge.
Sentencing him to six months in prison, Judge Treasa Kelly said Flynn had breached the woman’s trust while she was vulnerable.
Flynn, a construction worker of Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin pleaded guilty to recording and distributing an intimate image without consent.
Garda Ailís McBride told Dublin District Court Flynn recorded the victim performing a sex act on him which he then distributed on social media without her consent.
This happened at his home on May 16, 2021. When the case was investigated, Flynn went to Kilmainham garda station by appointment and made a statement.
The court heard the accused sent the video to three or four of his top Snapchat contacts in his friend list, but they were not identified.
The woman, in her early 30s, became emotional as she read her victim impact statement out in court. She said when she saw Flynn now “my body reacts on a primal, instinctive level; I freeze inside, I shake.”
“Your actions have made my mind an unsafe place to be,” she told the accused in her statement, “because when I think about you I become overwhelmed emotionally and my body shuts down.”
“Your actions have truly traumatised me, I feel unsafe around all men now, I don’t walk out late at night,” she said. “You are the point of reference I have for how men treat women.”
For others to have seen a video of her that she had not seen and did not consent to made her feel “powerless,” she said.
“You made me feel like I was nothing, you made me feel unsafe and in danger,” she said.
When confronted, he had said he had sent the video to relations of his, and this statement seemed “perverse” to her, she continued.
She had to trust him that it was only sent to who he told her, and this made her “physically sick.”
“I feel dirty, I feel unclean, I feel violated,” she said, and she would shower herself “in scalding water” and scrub herself.
She had not had intimate relations with a man since that day and “you made the very act of sex feel unsafe,” she said.
Flynn had “robbed her of feeling safe in her recovery” but she had not relapsed and remained drug free despite this.
His behaviour had been “disgusting” and “abhorrent,” she said.
The accused had a large number of prior convictions for offences including robbery, blackmail and extortion and escaping from lawful custody.
Flynn offered a “heartfelt apology” to the victim, his solicitor Mervyn Harnett said.
He had been forthright and honest with the gardai from the start. The video was sent on “impermanent media”, though he accepted it was still an offence to share images of such an intimate nature.
The lack of consent was not communicated until after.
“It was a foolish mistake, he didn’t realise in the moment the effect it would have or the damage it would do,” Mr Harnett said.
The victim had been a “vulnerable lady” when she met Flynn who was further down the road of recovery, Judge Kelly said.
The woman was very traumatised by the breach of trust which affected her relations with other men and set her back in her recovery. However, the victim managed to maintain her composure, dignity and resolve to stay drug-free, Judge Kelly said.
The judge commended the victim on her strength of character. She took account of the accused’s plea and the fact that he “clearly regrets his actions.”