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Garda will be sentenced next year over child sex abuse videos


Garda Joseph O’Connor. Photo: Collins

Garda Joseph O’Connor. Photo: Collins

Garda Joseph O’Connor. Photo: Collins

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 (58), of west Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of possession of child pornography at his home on dates between January 1, 2010, and August 2, 2011.

During a search of his home, gardai investigating other allegations seized a laptop. An analysis found videos in the computer's "recycle bin" depicting boys, some under the age of 10, being subjected to abuse.

Last week, a jury returned unanimous verdicts of guilty on four counts. The jury acquitted him of one count, which dealt with 56 duplicates of two images.

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

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


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

After his arrest, O'Connor told gardai that he had never seen the material before.

He said someone else must have downloaded the files and believed Patryk Farrell, who came to his home for sex days before the laptop was seized, had corrupted his computer.

Closing the State's case, Alice Fawsitt SC told the jury there was no evidence of any virus on the laptop and no evidence of anything that might have happened to it before it was seized.

Counsel for O'Connor said hundreds of men had come to his home for sex and that any of them could freely use his laptop.

Mr Carroll said that on the day after they met at O'Connor's home, Mr Farrell texted O'Connor and told him he was bruised and that he was going to gardai and would "destroy" him.

The court heard that gardai went to O'Connor's home in August 2011 to investigate allegations of assault by Mr Farrell.

They seized the laptop and found the images on it. The jury also learned that an internal investigation concluded there was no basis for the allegations of assault.