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Garda sent for trial over claim he had 650 child porn images

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Garda Joe O'Connor. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Garda Joe O'Connor. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Garda Joe O'Connor. Photo: Caroline Quinn

A DUBLIN-BASED garda accused of having hundreds of images of child porn at his home has been sent forward for trial.

Joe O'Connor (53) was allegedly caught with more than 650 images of child porn following a search of his home by detectives three years ago.

He is facing trial by judge and jury in the Circuit Court after he denied the allegation.

The accused, with an address in west Dublin, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with possession of child pornography, contrary to Section 6 (1) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.

The alleged incident took place between July 30, 2011 and August 2, 2011 at his home.

GRAPHIC

It is alleged that he had 655 images and movie files of child explicit sex, child exposure and computer graphic images.

O'Connor allegedly had 92 images of child explicit sex, 136 images of child exposure, 85 movies of child explicit sex, one movie file of child exposure and 341 other computer graphic images of child porn.

The DPP previously directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court on a guilty plea only. The garda has denied the charge.

A State solicitor said the book of evidence was ready and had been served on the accused, who goes forward to the present sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Defence solicitor Matthew Kenny asked the court to assign a senior counsel as well as a junior counsel, owing to the "gravity of the offence". Mr Kenny also said the charge was serious. Judge David McHugh assigned defence solicitor Robert Eagar as well as one junior counsel and one senior counsel on free legal aid.

O'Connor was given the alibi caution, with Judge McHugh warning him he had 14 days to provide to the State details of anyone he proposed calling as a witness in his case.

The judge ordered that a copy of an interview gardai conducted with the accused be furnished to his legal team. O'Connor will appear in court on February 14.

hnews@herald.ie


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