Dublin soliciter pleads not guilty to possession of child pornography

A jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has been told that a solicitor viewed child pornography images on his computer before he deleted them from a temporary internet folder.

Eugene Fanning, aged 55, of Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge denies having 27 pornographic images between January 29, 2001 and February 27, 2002 at his home.

Ms Una Ni Raifeartaigh told the jury that it would be the prosecution’s case that Mr Fanning viewed the images on the internet and later deleted them from a temporary internet folder, where she said the computer automatically stores anything that it is looked at on the internet.

It was accepted that Mr Fanning did not save the child pornographic images but was deliberately viewing the images knowing they were stored in these temporary files.

Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said the fact that he knew where to access the folders and to delete them proved that he was aware he had temporary possession of them.

Counsel told the jury that once these files were deleted they move into an area known as "unallocated space" from where they can never be retrieved apart from by the use of forensic software. The prosecution claimed the images were found in that area on Mr Fanning’s computer.

Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said it was also accepted that there were "viruses" and "trojans" on Mr Fanning’s computer when it was seized.

She said "trojans" did have the ability to access the internet without the knowledge of the owner of the computer but it would be proved that despite this it was Mr Fanning and not the act of "trojans" that caused these child pornographic images to be stored in the temporary internet files.

The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan with legal argument in the absence of the jury of six women and six men.

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