Man left sexually explicit images of children on computer key at Letterkenny hostel

September 22, 2023

A book of evidence has been served on a man charged with possessing images depicting prepubescent children engaging in acts of a sexual nature.

Robert Browne appeared before Letterkenny District Court.

Browne was caught with the images when he left a USB key behind in a room of a Letterkenny hostel in July 2016.

The 52-year-old, with an address at Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK. was staying at the Apple Hostel and staff members found the key while cleaning a room in which Browne stayed on July 27, 2016.

Staff opened the key in a bid to establish who it belonged to and the hostel manager subsequently alerted Gardai, who began a probe.

The court heard that there were a total of nine images, five of which were described as ‘anime’ and depicted children in nude poses and engaging in acts of a sexual nature.

There were four images depicting young female children in naked poses.

Browne has been charged with knowingly having in his possession child pornography to wit, five anime images depicting prepubescent children in nude poses and engaging in sex acts, four photographic images depicting naked poses of young teenage females. The offence is contrary to Section 6(1) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.

Garda Patrick McDermott gave evidence of serving the book of evidence on Thursday at 10.52am at Letterkenny courthouse.

Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has consented for the accused to be sent forward to the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court which commences on October 17, 2023.

Browne was present for the brief hearing, but did not speak. The court heard that he travelled from the UK to attend.

Mr Frank Dorrian, solicitor for Browne, told the court that the book of evidence was ‘fairly lean’. Mr Dorrian asked for an adjournment in order to digest the book, noting that there was a possibility that his client could go forward on a signed guilty plea.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned the matter until October 9, 2023.