A garda has been convicted of possessing images and videos of children being sexually abused.
Joseph O’Connor, 58, from west Dublin, had denied five charges of possession of child abuse images between July 30 and August 2, 2011.
During a search of his home on August 2, gardai investigating other allegations seized a laptop. A subsequent analyse of the laptop found videos in the computer’s “recycle bin” depicting boys under the age of ten being subjected to sexual acts.
Two videos depicted boys under 17 being subjected to sexual acts with a male adult. There were also multiple copies of 16 different images of children sexually exposed or being subjected to sexual acts.
After a little over two hours deliberating, the jury of ten men and two women returned unanimous verdicts of guilty on four counts. The jury acquitted him of one count, which dealt with 56 duplicates of two images.
He was found guilty of possessing the two originals of these images, which were found in a computer folder named “Spanked Boys”.
He was also convicted of possessing 15 explicit videos of child sex around August 2011.
Finally he was convicted of possessing 56 images and 42 videos of children being subjected to explicit sexual acts and 41 images of children being sexually exposed.
Most of these files were found in the “unallocated cluster” space of the hard drive. This area is where files are placed after deletion from the “recycle bin” and is inaccessible to the user without the use of specialist software.
Judge Elma Sheahan thanked the jury for their service. She remanded O’Connor on continuing bail to next Monday 12.
After his arrest O’Connor told gardai that he had never seen the material before and denied downloading it. He somebody else must have downloaded the files.