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Thursday 2 October 2014

Garda accused of possessing child porn sent forward for trial

Eimear Cotter

Published 21/01/2014 | 12:42

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Joe O'Connor arriving at Blanchardstown District Court, Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Joe O'Connor arriving at Blanchardstown District Court, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

A DUBLIN-based garda accused of having hundreds of images of child porn at his home has been sent forward for trial.

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Joe O'Connor (53) was allegedly caught with more than 650 images of child porn following a search of his home in west Dublin by detectives three years ago.

Gda O'Connor is facing trial by judge and jury in the Circuit Court after he denied the allegation.

The accused, with an address in west Dublin, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with possession of child pornography, contrary to Section 6(1) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.

The alleged incident took place between July 30, 2011 and August 2, 2011 at his home in west Dublin.

It is alleged that the officer had 655 images and movie files of child explicit sex, child exposure and computer graphic images.

O'Connor allegedly had 92 images of child explicit sex, 136 images of child exposure, 85 movies of child explicit sex, one movie file of child exposure and 341 other computer graphic images of child porn.

The DPP previously directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court on a guilty plea only. The garda has denied the charge, and the matter will now go forward for trial.

A State solicitor said the book of evidence was ready and had been served on the accused, who goes forward to the present sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Defence solicitor Matthew Kenny asked the court to assign a senior counsel as well as a junior counsel, owing to the "gravity of the offence". Mr Kenny also said the charge was serious.

Judge David McHugh assigned defence solicitor Robert Eagar as well as one junior counsel and one senior counsel on free legal aid.

O'Connor was given the alibi caution, with Judge McHugh warning him he had 14 days to provide to the State details of anyone he proposed calling as a witness in his case.

Judge McHugh also ordered that a copy of an interview with gardai conducted with the accused be furnished to his legal team.

The accused will next appear before the Circuit Court on February 14.

Irish Independent

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