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Gumtree sex ads posted as a joke, court told

A woman has gone on trial accused of posting adverts on the internet offering sex on behalf of two unwitting people.

Aishling Madden (34) is accused of putting up posts on behalf of a man and woman on the Gumtree classifieds website, offering various sexual acts and listing their phone numbers and addresses. The alleged female victim told the court she received up to 20 calls from interested parties before the advert was taken down.

Ms Madden, of Monastery Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin, claimed to gardai that four people were in her house on the night the posts were made and they did it as a practical joke. However, she said she could not remember any of their names or addresses.

She has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of defamation against David Henry and Louise Vivace at her home between June 17 and 20, 2006.

She also denied a further two counts of publishing material that was grossly offensive, indecent or obscene.

Sergeant Liam Coogan, who was attached to the Computer Crime Investigation Unit, told the court that Ms Madden said in interview that she was working as a temporary receptionist for Accenture management consultants in May 2006.

She said she found Ms Vivace's CV on the work computer and decided to email it to herself as she thought it was a good example of a receptionist's CV.

Sgt Coogan said Ms Vivace's CV appeared alongside the sexual comments on the Gumtree website. He said the CV was also found on a hard drive seized from Ms Madden.

Ms Madden told gardai she had met Mr Henry once when he working for the Office Angels recruitment company. Sgt Coogan said an email between Mr Henry and Ms Madden was also found on her hard drive.

She initially told gardai she did not know who put the comments concerning Ms Vivace and Mr Henry on the website.

She said she wrote some "rude" comments about Ms Vivace on the website but never "activated" the post.

In a second interview she told gardai three males and one female were in her house on the night the posts were made and had access to her computer. She said they had found Ms Vivace's CV and posted it online along with the sexual comments but had not activated the post.

She said they did this as a practical joke. She said one of the group was also responsible for the comments about Mr Henry. She told gardai she had since forgotten their names and only knew them through meeting them a few times in the city centre.

Mark Gibson, who worked with Gumtree at the time of the alleged offences, told the court that one of the messages was titled "Horny Irish male takes all" and gave Mr Henry's phone number and work email.

It said he was a "keen operator" who offered various sex acts and liked to be called "captain caveman".

The other message was titled "Diva with a heart of gold" and gave the phone number and email of Ms Vivace.

It offered "blowjobs, handjobs and full sex" and continued: "Snell Snell Snell (sic), I also speak good German during adult playtime."

Ms Vivace said she received calls about the advert and that her daughter found it online. She said she got 13 to 20 phone calls and five or six emails concerning it.

She said she had never heard of Gumtree before.

Mr Henry told the court that he had interviewed Ms Madden for temporary office jobs but she was not successful. She said when he told her this she was "not best pleased". He said he got two emails relating to the advert before he contacted the site and they took it down.

The trial continues.

Source Irish Independent

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