Laois man charged with having child pornography

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Court - Smashed garda patrol car outside Portlaoise courthouse

A Laois man has been charged with having child pornography.

Charlie Robinson (20), Barrowhouse, Laois, was charged with having child pornography at his home on March 24, 2016.

At this week’s Portlaoise District Court, Judge Catherine Staines refused an application from the man’s solicitor for reporting restrictions to be applied, meaning the man can be named.

Solicitor, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that the court had discretionary powers to apply reporting restrictions. She asked that, given her client enjoys the presumption of innocence, the court protect his younger brother and sister by not naming him. She said the siblings, aged 15 and ten, have nothing to do with the accusation.

Judge Catherine Staines asked had Tusla been informed of the charges, to which Garda John Masterson replied they had and the case was now closed from their side.

Judge Staines said that the reason there were reporting restrictions in rape cases is to protect the victims, but the victims in child pornography are either unidentifiable, or are children in such places as the Philippines who are being subjected to horrific lives.

“Anyone before the court charged with an offence, their name can be published,” said Judge Staines.

Ms Fitzpatrick restated that her client is still entitled to the presumption of innocence and said the charges could affect his siblings.

Replied Judge Staines: “Someone charged with murder, his name is printed because of his actions and unfortunately his family are adversely affected. Perhaps they should think about that before crimes are allegedly committed.”

The judge ruled that reporting restrictions would not apply in the case.

The matter was adjourned to February 8 for the serving of a book of evidence.