A 61-year-old man was arrested in Cork today and charged with child pornography charges that included a count of attempting to produce child pornography via conversations on Snapchat with a young girl.
Mehmet Umit Pala of Maiville Terrace, Evergreen Road, Turner’s Cross, Cork, was arrested and charged by Detective Garda Craig Peterson and brought before Cork District Court.
The first charge states that he did knowingly have in his possession child pornography, namely one image file found stored on a Samsung Galaxy J3 mobile device on October 17 2020.
The second charge relates to dates between April 28 and May 2 2020 at a place unknown, and alleged that he did knowingly attempt to produce child pornography via conversations on Snapchat with a female name, appearing on the charge sheet in quotation marks, or to facilitate activity set our in the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, for the purpose of distribution, publication, exportation, sale or show.
The third charge refers to the same dates as charge 2 and alleges that Mehmet Umit Pala did attempt by means of information and communication technology to sexually exploit a child. This refers to the same name as the previous charge.
None of the background allegations giving rise to the charges were outlined in court.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the case would proceed by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Det. Garda Peterson served a book of evidence on the 61-year-old.
Dennis Healy, solicitor, applied for free legal aid to represent the accused and this was granted by Judge Olann Kelleher. Mr Healy later applied for junior and senior counsel to be appointed to represent the defendant. The judge said the application for a senior counsel could be made at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The judge gave the accused an alibi warning, whereby he is required to inform the prosecution of any witnesses he might call if relying on an alibi defence.
There was no prosecution objection to the accused being remanded on bail, provided he has no contact, direct or indirect, with the victim and any other witnesses, sign twice a week at Anglesea Street garda station, reside at the Turner’s Cross address and notify garda of any change in address, be contactable by mobile phone and notify gardaí of any change in phone number within 24 and to surrender all travel documents and give an undertaking not to apply for replacements.
The case was then adjourned until January 30 at the circuit court for a date to be set for a trial by judge and jury.