Wednesday 18 July 2018

Stalker who harassed RTÉ's Sharon said mocked-up porn images were 'bad fantasies'

Conor O’Hora Photo: Collins
Conor O’Hora Photo: Collins

Jessica Magee

A stalker who mocked up obscene images of RTÉ newsreader Sharon Ní Bheoláin and possessed child pornography said the images were "really bad fantasies".

Conor O'Hora (41) yesterday pleaded guilty to harassing Ms Ní Bheoláin and to three counts of possessing indecent images of children as young as eight on his mobile phone and computer hard drive - many in the most serious category.

O'Hora, of Heather Walk, Portmarnock, Dublin, was remanded in custody for sentencing today and was warned he would be jailed for his "sordid and debasing" crimes.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the harassment - between March 2013 and January 2014 - involved superimposing photos of Ms Ní Bheoláin's head, taken from newspapers and the 'RTÉ Guide', on more than 30 pornographic images.

RTÉ’s Sharon Ní Bheoláin. Photo: Maxwell Photography
RTÉ’s Sharon Ní Bheoláin. Photo: Maxwell Photography

They were then posted on a website reachable through a Google search of her name.

The pornography charges involved 100 images of children involved in sexual activity, and 40 explicit and violent online chats between O'Hora and a co-accused.

Some of the discussions were related to Ms Ní Bheoláin, while others concerned three children, whose photos had been taken from Facebook and doctored to produce indecent images.

Judge Martin Nolan said: "I've no doubt it caused considerable distress to the complainant and her family. It was reprehensible and he should be thoroughly ashamed." He added that the images and the conversations were "sordid and pretty disgusting".

When the judge asked why O'Hora had picked on Ms Ní Bheoláin, Detective Garda Padraig Hanley said O'Hora had "no particular malice, just a fixation".

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said O'Hora didn't wish Ms Ní Bheoláin any harm and that the images and conversations were just "really bad fantasies".

"It's not something I'm proud of. It's ridiculous to think she would have any interest in me," said O'Hora, who added that he had put the images online so other people around the world could "get a jolly out of her".

"I had a seriously sick mind at the time. I got a power trip from looking at little girls' pictures and it got out of control," added O'Hora.

He told gardaí he had been smoking 12 to 15 cannabis joints a day at the time, as well as drinking and using cocaine when he could afford it.

Irish Independent

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