CHILDREN playing in the front garden of their home saw a 66-year-old neighbour masturbating at his front window and now he has been convicted and fined €500 for what was the first criminal offence of his life.
Judge Olann Kelleher noted from a background report prepared on the accused for today’s sentencing hearing that the accused had co-operated fully with authorities and was not deemed to be a risk to the public.
Defence barrister Ray Boland asked the judge to deal with penalty in a non-custodial manner. Judge Kelleher agreed to do so but he warned the 66-year-old that if he committed another similar offence he put himself at risk of going to prison.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said the accused was fully naked at the time of the offence of engaging in an act of indecency.
The mother of the children made a complaint to gardaí that the neighbour was watching them when they played in the garden and both children gave vivid descriptions of what happened.
“When interviewed he admitted masturbating naked. He said the children were not used for his gratification,” Sgt. Lyons said.
Defence barrister Ray Boland said the accused who had no previous convictions, continued to live alone in the house and there had been no further incident since this occurred on October 26, 2019 and that his bedroom was no longer to the front of the house.
Mr Boland BL quoted from the interview with the accused: “All I can do is apologise. I would do anything to make this right. I am ashamed of my life.”
The barrister said the defendant had been highly stressed since this occurred in 2019 and waiting for it to come before the court.
Mr Boland said it would have taken a full day for the case to be heard at Cork District Court and that the children and their family were spared the stress of them giving evidence and being cross-examined.
Sergeant Lyons sought an order not to have the accused identified as it would lead to the identification of the children across the road.
Judge Olann Kelleher agreed to impose that reporting restriction.