independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Garda child porn accused ‘irritated’ by delay, court hears

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 is "irritated" that the book of evidence is not yet ready, his solicitor told a court.

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.

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

Back in October, Judge David McHugh lifted reporting restrictions on naming the garda following applications and legal argument by lawyers from Independent Newspapers and RTE.

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 at an unknown date between July 30 and August 2 2011 at his home in west Dublin.

It is alleged 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.

State solicitor, Donal Ford, said the the book of evidence was not yet ready. He said there are a large number of statements in the book of evidence and the final statement arrived earlier this week.

Mr Ford said the matter could be adjourned until later this week or until after Christmas.

Defence solicitor Richard Young said the accused was not asking for the matter to be marked peremptory for the next date, but he wishes for the matter to be advanced.

Mr Young said Gda O'Connor was "irritated" the book of evidence was not yet available.

Judge McHugh said he was satisfied to adjourn the matter to January 21, given the allegation and the considerable technology involved.

Eimear Cotter

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