Wednesday 18 September 2019

Boys under 10 found in pornography on garda's computer, court hears

Garda Joseph O’Connor. Picture: Collins
Garda Joseph O’Connor. Picture: Collins

Declan Brennan

Videos found on a laptop seized from the home of a garda showed boys under the age of 10 subjected to sexually explicit acts, a jury has heard.

Joseph O'Connor (58), from west Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of possession of child pornography at his home in 2011.

During a search of the defendant's home on August 2, 2011, gardaí seized a Dell laptop. Garda Janette Walsh told Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, she carried out an analysis of the laptop's hard drive.

She said files depicting children being subjected to explicit sexual acts were found on the hard drive on a computer seized at his home.

Gda Walsh said she found 43 movie files in the recycle bin folder of the computer. She said 15 of these showed young boys being subjected to a sexual act.

Three of these movies involved boys under the age of 10. The other 12 retrieved showed boys between the ages of 10 and 17.

Two files depicted children being subjected to explicit sexual acts with a male adult.

Gda Walsh said she also found 92 images depicting children under 17 being subjected to sexual acts and 136 images of child exposure elsewhere on the hard drive. Many of these files were duplicates of the same images.

Paul Carroll SC, defending, said his client accepted that the files identified by Gda Walsh come under the legal definition of child pornography.

Judge Elma Sheahan told the jury this means they would not be expected to view the files themselves.

Gda Walsh said she found pictures of the accused and a photograph of his Garda ID card on the laptop as well as a Skype account under the name JP1Dub with the full name as Joe. She said the profile image on that account was the defendant.

Gda Walsh agreed with Mr Carroll that the laptop did not have a password and anyone going to it could use it.

She said that some of the details on other files indicated the file was not accessed after it was created at the location it was found.

Mr Carroll said "there was a massive amount of activity on adult porn sites" on the laptop. Gda Walsh agreed more than 300,000 images of adult pornography were found.

The trial began last week but has been in legal argument for much of that time. It continues before Judge Sheahan and a jury of 10 men and two women.

Irish Independent

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