Garda accused of child porn possession to face court in December

The State has been allowed seven weeks to complete preparing a book of evidence in the case of a Garda awaiting trial for possessing child porn images and movies.

Garda accused of child porn possession to face court in December

The State has been allowed seven weeks to complete preparing a book of evidence in the case of a Garda awaiting trial for possessing child porn images and movies.

Joe O’Connor (aged 53), who is stationed at a Dublin city-centre garda station but currently suspended, is accused of possession of 655 child abuse images at his west Dublin home between 30 July and 2 August 2011, charges he denies.

The charges, which are under section 6(1) child trafficking act 1998, relate to images and movie files of child explicit sex, child exposure and computer graphic images.

It is alleged he 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.

It had been indicated that his case could be dealt with by the district court, where penalties are less severe, if he pleaded guilty to the charges.

However, earlier this month, defence solicitor Matthew Kenny told Blanchardstown District Court that his client would be pleading not guilty.

This mean that the case, once a book of evidence has been prepared, will go forward for trial before a judge and jury at the Circuit Court, which can, on conviction, impose lengthier sentences.

Today, the officer appeared again at Blanchardstown District Court where Judge David McHugh was told that the book of evidence was not yet ready to be served on Gda O'Connor.

The State asked for a seven-week adjournment, which was granted with the consent of the defence, and the officer was remanded on continuing bail to appear again in December.

On October 1 last, reporting restrictions were lifted and he lost a legal bid to remain anonymous following submissions by lawyers for RTÉ, the Irish Daily Mail and Independent Newspapers.

Legal aid has already been granted to the 53-year-old after the court heard that he had a substantial mortgage and there had been a significant reduction in his circumstances.

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