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horror journal Girl (13) had 150 child abuse files and 'kept diary about rape and murder of infants'

The girl, now aged 17, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court for a preliminary hearing to decide her trial venue

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Dublin Children's Court

Dublin Children's Court

Dublin Children's Court

A 13-year-old girl had dozens of child sexual abuse videos and images in a computer file and wrote a diary about her interest in rape, torture and the murder of infants and children, a court has heard.

Gardaí began investigating her online activities four years ago with help from US and Canadian authorities.

The girl, now aged 17, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court for a preliminary hearing to decide her trial venue.

She has been charged under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

It is alleged she had 78 images and 72 videos that contained visual representations of a child engaged in explicit sexual activities.

The material was allegedly in a Dropbox computer account in 2017.

She is accused of having had a handwritten diary with drawings and text defined as child pornography.

The third charge is possessing the material in late 2016 in a Dropbox account for sharing.

She cannot be identified because of her age.

The Director of Public Prosecutions recommended she face "trial on indictment" in the Circuit Court, which can impose lengthier sentences.

Her defence cited her age, "harrowing background", and the four years it took to charge the teen. He pleaded for her case to be kept in the Children's Court.

However, Judge Treasa Kelly held that it was too serious.

The girl sat silently throughout the hearing and was not required to give evidence.

Detective Garda Cathal Connolly gave an outline of the prosecution case.

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He said the girl came to a Dublin garda station with her mother when she was aged 13. She freely offered information about her Dropbox computer file-sharing account, he said.

She allegedly used it to store and share child pornography with another youth in Munster, who later abused a child sexually.

The material featured children, from infants to teenagers, vaginally and orally raped, sexually assaulted and suffering verbal and physical abuse by adult males.

Gardaí searched her home and recovered the handwritten diary, the court was told.

Det Gda Connolly described it as a journal with drawings and text about her interests in the rape, torturing and killing of prepubescent girls and infants.

It allegedly featured her commentary and drawings about child mutilation and dismemberment. Gardaí interviewed her when she was aged 14.

She allegedly admitted to sharing it "with like-minded people online". The garda alleged the girl saw children "as sexual objects that should be harmed and murdered".

US and Canadian authorities obtained the evidence from Dropbox, Facebook and Kik, a messenger app, the court heard. The Garda computer crime section then assessed and classified the material.

Questioned by her solicitor, the detective explained she had to have specialist interviews.

Gardaí also interacted with therapeutic services, social workers and Tusla.

Pleading with the judge to accept jurisdiction, the defence handed the court a welfare report with "harrowing background details" and an account of her time in care. He asked the judge to note the evidence of her cooperation.

However, Judge Kelly refused jurisdiction and adjourned the case for a book of evidence to be prepared.

The girl, accompanied to court by a social worker, was remanded on continuing bail to appear again next month.

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