Garda officer Joseph O'Connor, 58, convicted of possessing child pornography on his laptop

Garda officer Joseph O'Connor, 58, convicted of possessing child pornography on his laptop

A GARDA officer has been found guilty of possessing images and videos of children – some younger than 10 – being subjected to sexual acts.

Joseph O'Connor, 58, from west Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of possession of child abuse material at his home between July 30 and August 2, 2011.

His trial, which began last month, heard that IT experts found 92 image files of children under the age of 17 being subjected to sexual acts on the disgraced Garda's Dell laptop.

Investigators also discovered 136 images of child exposure and 85 video files of minors engaged in sexual acts with men.

Most of the files were found deleted in O'Connor's 'recycle bin' and showed young boys in various scenarios involving abuse.

One image discovered on the laptop's hard drive showed an adult male engaging in a sexual act with an underage boy in an outdoor setting, possibly a field or forest.

Two further videos showed boys under 17 being subjected to sexual acts by another male adult.

The jury of 10 men and two women returned unanimous guilty verdicts on four counts after little more than two hours of deliberation.

The jurors acquitted him of one count, which dealt with 56 duplicates of two images.

However, O'Connor was found guilty of possessing the two originals of these images, which were found in a folder named "Spanked Boys".

He was also convicted of possessing 15 explicit videos of child sex around August 2011.

After his arrest, O'Connor claimed someone else must have downloaded the files and implicated "hundreds of men" who had come back to his house for sex that could have freely used his laptop.

However Alice Fawsitt SC, prosecuting, told the jury there was no evidence to back up the ex-Garda's claims.

Paul Carroll SC, defending, said that O'Connor is a long-term serving Garda and has been suspended since these matters arose.

He requested time for his client to be able to gather reports for the court for his sentencing hearing.

Judge Elma Sheahan thanked the jury for their service and remanded O'Connor on continuing bail until next Monday, November 12.