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06 Oct 2022

Hundreds of child abuse movies and images found in west Donegal

A man with an address in west Donegal has appeared in court charged in connection with the discovery of hundreds of child abuse videos and images.

Gardaí raided the home of Paul Cowell (53) at Meenacladdy, Gortahork on Saturday, December 11.

A total of 202 videos and 412 images were seized in the raid.

Powell appeared via video link at Falcarragh District Court.

He is charged with having 198 movies depicting extreme sexual and physical abuse of both male and female prepubescent children and babies being abused by adult males and females and other children.

He is also charged 303 images depicting extreme sexual abuse of both male and female prepubescent children and babies being abused by adult males and females and other children.

Powell is also charged with having four movie files and 109 images of prepubescent boys and girls with their genital area clearly visible.

The offences are contrary to Section 6(1) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998

The charges relate to dates unknown between January 1, 2016 and July 27, 2018 at Meenacladdy, Gortahork.

All of the material was contained within and retrieved from an MSI laptop.

Solicitor for Powell, Mr Patsy Gallagher, applied for reporting restrictions in the case, but Judge Raymond Finnegan denied the request.

Detective Garda Enda Jennings told the court that the victims in the case were not directly known to Cowell with the majority located elsewhere Europe and also Asia.

Detective Garda Jennings said that the man’s wife - who was present in court for the short hearing - said that Cowell, who is originally from the UK, was not welcome at her address.

Judge Finnegan adjourned the case until December 20 for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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