Man reported pensioner to Waterford gardaí after finding explicit material

Man reported pensioner to Waterford gardaí after finding explicit material

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A Waterford court has heard that a man reported his pensioner housemate to gardaí, after discovering sexually explicit material on a computer he had loaned him.

Oliver O’Grady (75) appeared before Waterford Circuit Court charged with one count of possessing a video of a semi-naked underage girl engaging in a sexual act contrary to section six of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

It is alleged that Mr O'Grady, who denies the charge, held the video in his possession on a date between December 14, 2015 and March 2016 at St Otteran's Place, South Parade, Waterford city.

State prosecutor Conor O'Doherty BL told the jury they must decide whether the image amounts to child pornography, and added that it is the prosecution's case that Mr O'Grady was the user of the email account which had downloaded the video.

Sean D Rafter, defence for the accused, said part of its case would be that when gardaí had interacted with the video during the initial investigation, they "caused certain records to be deleted" and "compromised the evidence".

Judge Eugene O'Kelly heard from Richard Walsh, a former housemate of the accused,loaned Mr O'Grady an old desktop computer. After Mr Walsh moved out of the house, the computer was returned to him only for him and a friend to discover a sexually explicit video in the downloads folder.

That friend, Julie Sheehan, told the court that among the other files present on the computer were a will and testament belonging to Mr O'Grady and another document related to the Italian language. She said she and Mr Walsh viewed "five seconds" of the video before stopping: "After that I turned it off, it was enough to know."

Mr Walsh said the house at St Otteran's Place was made up of "transient" people and admitted he could not remember the names of many of the people who lived in the household during his tenancy. He agreed with Mr O'Grady's barrister, Sean D Rafter, when he said that there was "no way he could know" who else might have been accessing the computer aside from Mr O'Grady.

Mr Rafter told the court that the defence had to "formally admit that the accused is a person significantly interested in Roman Catholicism".

The trial is to continue tomorrow and will hear from experts who specialise in the technical nature of electronic devices. It is expected to conclude next Wednesday.

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