February 2019

Garda jailed for two years

A garda (Irish police officer) has been jailed for two years at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for possessing images and videos of children being subjected to sexual acts.

Joseph O’Connor, 58, from west Dublin and who served as a garda for 25 years, had pleaded not guilty, but was convicted by a jury last November.

Two images were found in a laptop’s user file.
Some of the images and videos were in his computer’s recycle bin and some were in inaccessible parts of the computer, showing that they had previously been deleted.

Judge Elma Sheahan said the images found on the the garda’s laptop could not have been created without a child being violated unspeakably.

She pointed out that O’Connor still did not recognise his behaviour was wrong.

O’Connor had claimed that a man who came to his house for sex, days before his laptop was seized in August 2011, had corrupted his computer.

He said he had never seen the material before. He denied downloading it and described it as “sick”.

Judge Sheahan said that as a garda O’Connor held a position that accorded him a degree of culpability at a high level.