Tuesday 21 May 2019

Martin Guerin to face trial on child pornography charges

Swords District Court
Swords District Court

Nicola Donnelly

A brother of murdered crime journalist Veronica Guerin is to face trial by judge and jury after being charged with possessing nearly 1,000 images of child porn.

Martin Guerin - who is an older brother of the late Veronica - is also charged with knowingly possessing 146 movie files of child porn.

The 68-year-old was served with a book of evidence at Swords District Court last Tuesday and returned for trial.

Mr Guerin was charged in February with the offences under Section 6 (1) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

He is charged with knowingly possessing 872 images of child porn, 146 movie files of child porn and a further possession of 29 images of child porn four years ago.

All the charges relate to possessing the child porn material at his home address at Portmarnock Drive in Portmarnock, Co Dublin on September 17, 2014.

The court previously heard that the accused, who is now retired, made no reply after caution when the charges were put to him by Sergeant Ian Pentony.

At yesterday's court sitting, a State solicitor told Judge Miriam Walsh the Director of Public Prosecutions consents the accused be sent forward to the present sitting of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on the two charges.

After the book of evidence was handed over, Judge Walsh told the accused that if he intended to rely on the defence of alibi he must notify the prosecution within 14 days.

Mr Guerin, who was wearing a black coat, shirt and tie, spoke quietly saying 'I do' when asked by the judge if he understood the alibi caution.

Judge Walsh then made an order sending the accused forward for trial. The case will be next listed during the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court current term on May 24 in Court 5.

Mr Guerin was remanded on continuing bail - with no conditions - on his own bond of €100.

His solicitor Brian Coveney's application for legal aid was granted after the court heard the accused is retired.

Brian Meehan, a member of crime boss John Gilligan's gang, was convicted of murdering Mr Guerin's sister Veronica on June 26, 1996 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997. Ms Guerin was fatally shot while stopped at traffic lights on the Naas Dual Carriageway at Newlands Cross.

The shooting caused national outrage and within a week of her murder, the Government enacted the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 and the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996, so that assets purchased with money obtained through crime would be seized. This led to the formation of Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). Gilligan was tried for the murder but was acquitted in 2001.

Fingal Independent