Not guilty | 

Woman cleared over image she brought to gardai

Sergeant David Ennis said the image was of a female aged around eight to 11 years, and just her body was visible.
Ethel Noonan

Ethel Noonan

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

A WOMAN who brought an “inappropriate” picture of a young girl to a garda station to complain about it ended up being accused of possession of child pornography.

Ethel Noonan (42) was acquitted when a court heard she was reporting the image to gardaí so they could investigate it after it was given to her at a medical conference.

Gardaí said they were forced to arrest Ms Noonan when she tried to leave the station with the image after she became “irate” when they questioned her about it.

Judge Bryan Smyth found her not guilty and dismissed the case at Dublin District Court.

Ms Noonan, of St Laurence’s Road, Clontarf, had denied the charge.

The court heard she went to Clontarf Garda Station last November 18 with a printed image of a juvenile, to report its distribution. Garda James Quinlan said Ms Noonan told him she got the image while attending a medical conference in America in 2016.

Private

He asked why she had not reported it before and said there was “no explanation”.

Ms Noonan was invited into a conference room to discuss it in private.

Sergeant David Ennis said the image was of a female aged around eight to 11 years, and just her body was visible.

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Sgt Ennis said Ms Noonan became “irate” with questions, snatched the image back, rolled it into a ball and decided she was going to leave the station, which “forced his hand” in arresting her.

Her reply was that it was not an offence to have an image for the purpose of reporting it .

Defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said Ms Noonan had gone in with the image and alerted gardaí to it. It had come in a “bundle” of documents at a conference and she felt it was an inappropriate image and wanted to report it.

He said it was not an offence to possess an image for the purpose of the prevention, investigation or prosecution of offences under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.


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