A garda will be sentenced next month for possessing images and videos of children being subjected to sexual acts.

58-year-old Joseph O'Connor had pleaded not guilty and was convicted by a jury last November of possessing images and videos of what were described in court as "child explicit sex" and "child sexual exposure".

Some of the videos involved children who were under the age of ten being subjected to sexual acts. 

Others showed an adult involved in sexual activity with boys under the age of 17.

Two images were found in a laptop's user file. Some of the images and videos were in his computer's recycle bin and some were in inaccessible parts of the computer, showing they had previously been deleted.

Under the legislation, the charges are described as the possession of child pornography.

The Circuit Criminal Court heard that O'Connor had been a garda for 25 years before his suspension from duty in 2012.

Detective Superintendent Colm O'Malley agreed that he had a good work record and had not re-offended since these offences first came to light.

The court heard O'Connor still maintains his innocence. He had claimed that a man who came to his house for sex, days before his laptop was seized in August 2011, had corrupted his computer.

He said he had never seen the material before and denied downloading it, describing it as "sick".

The court heard there had been delays in bringing the case to a conclusion, due in part, to the involvement of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in investigating a complaint of assault made by the other man.

O'Connor's defence counsel, Paul Carroll, said the images and videos were serious but not at "the most serious" end of the scale of such material. 

He said there was no evidence of any distribution or circulation. 

He said the amount of material found was quite small in comparison to the vast amount of adult pornographic material found on O'Connor's devices.

The court heard O'Connor's sisters and brothers had written a letter in support of their brother and some of them were in court.

Mr Carroll also said O'Connor had been involved in an incident in 1995 which had caused him some stress and had been under severe stress and strain during the time he had been out of work waiting for this case to come to a conclusion.

He asked the court to consider imposing a non-custodial sentence and he asked Judge Elma Sheehan to postpone imposing a sentence until they had received a psychologist's report due at the end of next month.

The court heard the maximum sentence for such offences is a fine of €5,000 and/or a prison term of five years. 

O'Connor has been added to the register of sex offenders.

Judge Sheehan said she would adjourn sentencing until 15 February in the interests of fairness, to take account of the delays in bringing the case to court.  

But she added she would impose her sentence on that day.