Questions over child porn images during school counsellor rape trial

07 February 2018 - 15:52 By Jeff Wicks
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Thousands of graphic images of child pornography – entered as evidence in the trial of former school counsellor Darren Goddard – were brought to the fore as his trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court continued on Wednesday.

Goddard pled not guilty to all the charges‚ with the state calling their first witness relating to the child pornography charges.

Goddard is accused of raping and sexually assaulting several boys - between 5 and 12-years old - in 2016‚ as well as being in possession of‚ and accessing‚ thousands of child porn images.

In his plea statement‚ he said that one of the laptops which was seized had been in the possession of a woman and he had not had access to it for several years.

He went further‚ denying that he had ever used his work laptop for child pornography.

Goddard said that a forensic analysis of the images and computers will reveal that the images were downloaded when he did not have access to the computers.

His defence team contends that the metadata of the photographs had been altered to reflect a date period in which Goddard had been using the computer.

Van Tonder said that while it was possible that metadata could be manipulated‚ some technical skill and software would be required to alter the metadata of the photographs.

“To a lay person who does a simple copy and paste it would be more difficult‚” he said.

But Advocate Shane Matthews hit back‚ saying that metadata could be altered by adjusting the date and time setting of the computer.

“And changing the time and date settings on a computer is as easy as setting a clock‚” he said.

The trial continues.


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