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Woman who failed to fully delete child abuse video is spared jail

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A woman prosecuted for possession of child pornography after she failed to completely delete a two-minute video sent to her on WhatsApp has received a suspended prison sentence. (stock photo)

A woman prosecuted for possession of child pornography after she failed to completely delete a two-minute video sent to her on WhatsApp has received a suspended prison sentence. (stock photo)

Getty Images/iStockphoto

A woman prosecuted for possession of child pornography after she failed to completely delete a two-minute video sent to her on WhatsApp has received a suspended prison sentence. (stock photo)

A woman prosecuted for possession of child pornography after she failed to completely delete a two-minute video sent to her on WhatsApp has received a suspended prison sentence.

Judge Pauline Codd said that in January 2018, Omo Delpin Omorouyi was the innocent recipient of a video which began innocuously and featured a man and a toddler.

Garnet Orange SC, defending, said his client did not know what the video was and began watching it. When it became apparent that it was "something sinister" she stopped playing the video.

She asked the sender, who she knew only by his first name, "why are you sending me child pornography?" and told him not to text her again.

She deleted the WhatsApp message, but Garda Killian Leyden told the court the smartphone app automatically downloads images and videos to the phone once they are viewed so the video remained on the phone.

A month later, gardaí carrying out an unrelated investigation went to search a house in Swords, Co Dublin, where the woman was living. The woman was not the target of this operation but her phone was seized during the search.

A subsequent analysis recovered the video. Omorouyi was arrested and told gardaí she believed she had deleted it.

"I did not know what it was until I opened it. I then deleted it from my phone," she told gardaí.

She said that she regretted playing it.

Omorouyi (28) pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography at her home in Swords on February 2, 2018.

Mr Orange said the case showed that "any of us could find ourselves the recipient of this kind of awful material".

"This stuff is flying around online. It's a case of there but for the grace of God go I," he said.

He added that his client should have reported the footage to gardaí but didn't. Judge Codd noted that this was not a criminal offence.

She said the "disturbing" video showed the rape of a two-year-old child but that the woman had innocently received it. She suspended a prison term of four months, noting the lack of any other convictions.

At the end of the hearing John Byrne BL, for the DPP, asked Judge Codd to order the destruction of the mobile phone. "It's not possible to delete [whatever data is on it] with any degree of certainty," he said.

Mr Orange told the court his client's ambitions to work in childcare were now gone because this conviction means she cannot get Garda vetting.

She has left a college course in social care and is now working in a fast-food restaurant.

He said she came to Ireland from Nigeria as a juvenile and that "appalling things" had happened to her in her past.

Gda Leyden said the man in the video had since been identified, was from Michigan in the US, and had been convicted.

Irish Independent