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24 Jan 2022

DPP directions 'imminent' for man charged with child abuse image haul

Letterkenny court house.

Letterkenny court house.

Directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case of a man found in possession of a large stash of child abuse videos and images are said to be ‘at an advanced stage’,

Paul Cowell (53), with an address at Meenacladdy, Gortahork, was before Letterkenny District Court via video link from Castlerea Prison, where he is currently in custody.

Solicitor for Cowell, Mr Patsy Gallagher, told the court that ‘directions are imminent and there is a roadmap’.

Sergeant Jim Collins told Judge Alan Mitchell that directions in were ‘at an advanced stage’.

A total of 202 videos and 412 images were seized in a raid of Cowell’s home on December 11, 2021.

Cowell 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.

Cowell 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.

At a sitting of Falcarragh District Court in December, Detective Garda Enda Jennings outlined that the victims in the case were not directly known to Cowell with the majority located elsewhere Europe and also Asia. At the December court sitting, Judge Finnegan rejected a formal application for reporting restrictions to be imposed, thereby allowing Cowell to be named by the media.

Judge Mitchell remanded Cowell in custody and adjourned the case until January 17, 2022.

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