Thursday 22 August 2019

Garda found with child porn on PC to be sentenced in January

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Jane Last

Jane Last

A garda convicted last week of possessing images and videos of children being subjected to sexual acts will be sentenced next January.

Joseph O'Connor, of west Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of possession of child pornography at his home between January 1, 2010 and August 2, 2011.

During a search of his home on August 2, gardaí investigating other allegations seized a laptop.

An analysis of the computer found videos in its recycle bin depicting boys under the age of 10 being subjected to sexual acts.

Two videos depicted boys under 17 being subjected to sexual acts with a male adult.

There were also multiple copies of 16 different images of children sexually exposed or being subjected to sexual acts.

A jury of 10 men and two women returned unanimous verdicts of guilty on four counts. They acquitted him on one count, which dealt with 56 duplicates of two images.

The defendant was found guilty of possessing the two originals of these images, which were found in a computer folder named 'Spanked Boys'.

O'Connor was also convicted of possessing 15 explicit videos of child sex around August 2011.

Finally, the 58 year old was convicted of possessing 56 images and 42 videos of children being subjected to explicit sexual acts and 41 images of children being sexually exposed.

Most of these files were found in the unallocated cluster space of the hard drive.

This area is where files are placed after deletion from the recycle bin and is inaccessible to the user without the use of specialist software.

Paul Carroll SC, defending, told the court last week that O'Connor was a long-term serving garda and has been suspended since these matters arose.

He asked for time for his client to be able to gather reports for the court for the sentence hearing.

Yesterday morning Judge Elma Sheahan remanded O'Connor on continuing bail to January 14.

Irish Independent

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