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court case Arraignment of man charged with possession of a child sex doll adjourned


Mark Wright.

Mark Wright.

Mark Wright.

THE arraignment of a man charged with the possession of a child sex doll has been adjourned until next February in the first case of its kind in Ireland.

The Co Laois man did not appear at a Circuit Court hearing in Tullamore On Tuesday where he was due to be arraigned on charges of having child pornography and sex dolls which resembles a child.

Mark Wright is facing 71 counts of having child pornography and charges relating to the possession of a doll or dolls made in Japan which are in the form of a child with penetrable orifices.

At a previous court hearing evidence was given by the State that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed the case be dealt with by trial on indictment.

The judge at that hearing in March had asked if the accused 25-year-old man had children of his own and was told that he did not. Wright was released on his own bail of €100.

The Book of Evidence was served on Mr Wright in the courtroom and the case was forwarded to the Circuit Court.

Judge Catherine Staines had directed the case be sent forward to the next sitting of Portlaoise Circuit Court.

The accused man did not speak during the brief hearing and left accompanied by two older people.

It emerged in July 2018 that gardaí seized a number of child sex dolls at different locations around the country.

The searches, under Operation Ketch, resulted in the confiscation of computers, phones and other

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll said at the time it was the first occasion child sex dolls have been seized in raids. "It is an issue we have discussed in recent times with customs officials,” he said.

"We are aware they have been imported to the State and a number of them have been seized at points of entry to the State.”

The sex dolls, which are child-like in appearance, weight and anatomy, are believed to be covered by the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

Customs officers have seized any such sex dolls found being imported into Ireland and handed them over to the gardai since 2017.

Such dolls are not illegal in other countries but the legislation in Ireland has not yet been tested when it comes to such material.

In Ireland, a number of social campaigners have made public calls for specific laws in relation to possession and importation of child sex dolls.

In the UK the issue saw a court ruling in 2017 when it was ruled that child sex dolls are regarded as obscene objects under UK Customs laws.

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