herald

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Man in court accused of harassing Sharon and possessing child porn

Conor O’Hora leaves court after being charged with harassing the news anchor and having obscene images. Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Conor O’Hora leaves court after being charged with harassing the news anchor and having obscene images. Photo: Douglas O'Connor

A Dublin man has been charged with harassing RTE news anchor Sharon Ni Bheolain and possessing child pornography.

Conor O'Hora (40) appeared in court accused of harassing the Six One presenter over several months three years ago, as well as two counts of having child pornography "images and text conversations".

He is facing trial over the allegations and his case has been adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Judge Michael Walsh granted him bail subject to conditions after hearing there were no garda objections.

Images

Sharon Ni Bheolain. Photo: Maxwell Photography
Sharon Ni Bheolain. Photo: Maxwell Photography

Mr O'Hora, with an address at Heather Walk, Portmarnock, is charged with one count of harassing Sharon Ni Bheolain (46) on a number of dates between October 20, 2013 and February 16, 2014.

He is also charged with possessing text conversations and images of child pornography on the same dates.

The offences are alleged to have happened at various locations within the State.

A detective garda sergeant told Dublin District Court that he arrested the accused on Infirmary Road near the Criminal Courts of Justice in the capital at 10.37am yesterday.

"In relation to all charges after caution, the accused had nothing to say," the sergeant said. He added that Mr O'Hora was handed copies of the charge sheets.

The court heard the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed trial on indictment on all charges, but a signed plea of guilty will be accepted in the district court if that arises.

Mr O'Hora has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

Judge Walsh granted bail in the accused's own bond of €1,000 with no cash lodgement required.

The conditions are that Mr O'Hora continues to reside at his home address, notifies gardai of any change of address and has no contact directly or indirectly with the alleged victim or anyone involved in the investigation.

He was also told he must keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

The judge granted free legal aid after Mr O'Hora's solicitor, Philip Hannon, handed a statement of the accused's financial means in to court.

The sergeant said he was aware of this and had no objections to legal aid.

Restriction

Judge Walsh read out the bail conditions to the defendant and asked: "Are you going to give me an undertaking to do that?"

Mr O'Hora replied: "I am, your honour."

The judge adjourned the case to December 1 for the preparation of a book of evidence.

He told Mr Hannon that the usual reporting restrictions applied in relation to children, and "otherwise, the matter will be treated like any other case".

Mr O'Hora, dressed in a pink shirt, grey jumper and dark trousers, did not address the court during the brief proceedings.

Ms Ni Bheolain was not required to be present in court for the case.

The prosecution comes following an investigation by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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