A young man who claimed he parked his car to view tractors and agricultural machinery cutting silage in a field was convicted of causing distress to a woman walking in the countryside who saw him masturbating and looking at her.
Judge Marian O’Leary said after hearing evidence in the contested case against Daryl Lordan of Fahalea, Carrigaline, County Cork, that she was convicting him of the offence of engaging in behaviour of a sexual nature, which, having regard to all the circumstances, was likely to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person.
Judge O’Leary said, “He said he was sitting in his car minding his own business to see if he could see tractors and machinery and was only stopped for 30 seconds.”
The defendant said the woman came up behind him, screamed, ‘Hey’ in the window, took a picture of his car, flagged down a passing car and a man got out. The defendant said he drove away because he was feeling very uncomfortable. He testified that he drove home and told his wife what happened.
Daryl Lordan totally denied the offence and said it never happened. He said he was out for a spin at 6.30 pm on May 12 2020, just outside Carrigaline on the Ballea Road and he said he saw a bailer and he pulled in to get a better view of it.
Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, said, “You seem to have a certain obsession with machinery – is that fair to say?” He said it was.
Mr Cuddigan put to him the evidence of the woman, who is aged around 30, who said he drove past her a number of times to the extent that she thought he was following her as she went for a walk and that when he parked at the side of the road she walked past, saw him looking out at her and he was masturbating.
Daryl Lordan, who is also aged around 30, replied, “I would not dream of doing that.”
Cross-examined by Inspector James Hallahan, the defendant said, “I was sitting in my car minding my own business and someone comes over shouting at me.” “She states that your pants were down?” the inspector said. The defendant replied, “100 per cent they were not down.” He added in relation to her evidence that he masturbated, “That is what she thought – I know what happened in my car.” Inspector Hallahan said, “She knows what happened in your car as well.”
Detective Garda Ian Breen, who investigated the case, said the complainant was worried she was being followed by the motorist and she said when she walked past his parked he was looking at her as he masturbated.
Judge O’Leary adjourned sentencing until May 3 to allow time for a victim impact statement by the complainant.