Brion Hoban and Sonya McLean
A man who was observed masturbating on different days in three separate stores has been jailed for eight months.
Bo Yu (38) masturbated both on the shop floor of each of the stores and in one of the store's changing rooms.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Yu was arrested following the final incident in which he was masturbating while at one of the store's tills. He was found to be in possession of a sex toy, an unused condom and lubricants at the time of his arrest.
Yu, of Swiftbrook Drive, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to public masturbation at House of Fraser, Dundrum, on November 27th and 30th, 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to public masturbation at Penneys, Dundrum, and at Marks & Spencer, Dundrum, both on December 3rd, 2019. He has no previous convictions.
Passing sentence on Tuesday, Judge Melanie Greally said it was clear from the footage that Yu was “manifestly in a state of considerable arousal throughout all the incidents”.
“Bizarrely the shoppers do not appear to have noticed his conduct, despite the fact that he was making scant efforts to be discreet,” Judge Greally said having noted that there were also children in the shops in questions.
She accepted that Yu has no previous convictions, had educated himself in China and came to Ireland where he has been in employment.
She acknowledged that he suffered both physical and emotional abuse from his father and he dressed as a woman “as a means of dealing with his stress and anxiety”.
“This is a case in my view in which some element of incarceration is necessary in order to achieve the objective of general deterrence,” Judge Greally said before she added that the incidences were in a crowded shopping centre and the conduct was of a relatively prolonged duration.
She sentenced Yu to 12 months in prison and suspended the final four months of the term for two years. She ordered that Yu engage with the Probation Service for two years and comply with all their directions, including engaging in treatment for sex offenders.
At a previous hearing, a security guard at House of Fraser told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that on the first date in November 2019, he noticed Yu wearing a dress and a wig while masturbating in the women's section.
The security guard said that on the second date in November 2019, Yu was again observed masturbating in the store. Gardaí were contacted on both occasions.
A detective told Mr Collins that on the date in December 2019, a security manager at Penneys in Dundrum saw the accused man masturbating and then going into the changing rooms. Yu touched a number of items in the store, which were then removed and not sold.
Yu was told to leave the changing room and told to take with him a used condom found on a seat.
The detective said that on the same date, Yu was observed applying liquid to his hand and masturbating in the lingerie section of Marks & Spencer in Dundrum. The accused man then went to the till to pay for tights and was masturbating while at the till.
Gardaí were called and they arrested Yu. He was found to be in possession of a sex toy, an unused condom and lubricants at the time of his arrest.
The detective agreed with Karl Monahan BL, defending, that according to the CCTV footage of the incident, it appeared none of the shoppers near his client in Marks & Spencer were aware of what was taking place.