Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Child pornography allegedly found on laptop in garda's home

Videos found on a laptop seized from the home of a garda showed boys under the age of ten subjected to sexually explicit acts, a jury has hard.

Joseph O’Connor (58)  from west Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of possession of child pornography at his home in west Dublin in 2011.

During a search of the defendant’s home on August 2nd 2011, gardaí seized a Dell laptop. Garda Janette Walsh told Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, that she carried out an analysis of the laptop’s hard drive using specialised software.

She said that files depicting children being subjected to explicit sexual acts were found at various locations on the hard drive on a computer seized at his home during a search in August 2011.

Garda Walsh said that she found 43 movie files in the recycle bin folder of the computer. She said that that 15 of these showed young boys being subjected to a sexual act.

Gda Walsh also said that she found 92 images depicting children under 17 being subjected to sexual acts and 136 images of child exposure elsewhere on the hard drive. Many of these files were duplicates of the same images.

Paul Carroll SC, defending, said his client accepted that the files identified by Gda Walsh come under the legal definition of child pornography. Judge Elma Sheahan told the jury this means they would not be expected to view the files themselves.

Gda Walsh agreed with Mr Carroll that the laptop did not have a password and anyone going to it could use it. She said that some of the details on other files indicated that the file was not accessed after it was created at the location it was found.

Mr Carroll said “there was a massive amount of activity on adult porn sites” on the laptop. Gda Walsh agreed that over 300,000 images of adult pornography were found, including 225,000 images on the inaccessible area of the hard drive.

Around 8,000 adult porn movies were on the laptop, with over 5,000 of these in the user inaccessible area.

The trial began last week but has been in legal argument for much of that time. It continues before Judge Sheahan and a jury of ten men and two women.

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