herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Man set to face trial for harassing RTE newsreader Sharon

Conor O’Hara has not yet entered a plea to the charges of possessing child pornography and harassing Sharon Ni Bheolain
Conor O’Hara has not yet entered a plea to the charges of possessing child pornography and harassing Sharon Ni Bheolain

A Dublin man has been sent forward for trial accused of harassing RTE's Sharon Ni Bheolain, as well as child porn offences.

Conor O'Hora (40), from Heather Walk, Portmarnock, Dublin, has been charged with harassment of the RTE newsreader at various locations within the State from October 20, 2013, until February 16, 2014.

He also faces two other charges for possessing child pornography in text communications and images over the same period.

Judge Michael Walsh returned him for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. A State solicitor yesterday said a book of evidence was ready and it was served on the accused.

Alibi

Mr O'Hora, who has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charges, sat looking at the book after it was handed to him by a garda.

Judge Michael Walsh told Mr O'Hora his case would be listed before the presiding judge at the circuit court on December 21.

He then gave him the formal warning that he must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days.

The accused, wearing a light grey sweater over a blue shirt, blue jeans and black shoes, sat and nodded as the judge gave him the alibi notice.

When Judge Walsh asked if he understood it, he replied: "I do, yeah."

Judge Walsh ordered disclosure by the prosecution of a copy of the accused's Garda interview video.

He granted free legal aid to cover junior counsel in the circuit court, following an application by Mr O'Hora's solicitor, Philip Hannon.

The judge noted the accused had been granted bail in October and remanded him on bail to December 21 under existing terms and conditions.

Ms Ni Bheolain was not required to be present in court yesterday.

The hearing was Mr O'Hara's second court appearance after he was arrested and charged last month.

On the previous date, a detective garda sergeant told the court he arrested the accused at Infirmary Road, near the Criminal Courts of Justice.

"In relation to all charges after caution, the accused had nothing to say," the garda sergeant said.

Indictment

The court heard the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed trial on indictment on all charges.

Bail was granted in the accused's own bond of €1,000 with no cash lodgement required.

Conditions are that the accused continues to reside at his home address, notifies the gardai of any change of address and has no contact directly or indirectly with anyone involved in the investigation.

He must also keep the peace and be of good behaviour,

The judge previously said the usual reporting restrictions applied in relation to children, and "otherwise, the matter will be treated like any other case".

The charges are under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person and the Child Trafficking and Pornography Acts.

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