Tuesday 28 February 2017

Sex offender groped women in street

Conor Gallagher

A MAN sexually assaulted random women on the street while on his way home from counselling at a sexual offenders' treatment centre.

Mark Bannon (38) of Crover, Mountnugent, Co Cavan, groped three young women on three separate occasions in the Kilmainham area of Dublin, a court heard.

He was in Dublin to attend court-ordered treatment at the Granada Institute. Bannon said the therapy seasons "riled up his tendencies" and that he then acted upon them.

Bannon has five previous convictions, including one for masturbating in his car in front of an ATM and another involving an incident in the ladies' toilets of Cavan District Court.

Screamed

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the three women, all of whom were in their early 20s, on September 10 and October 8 and 14, 2009.

Judge Desmond Hogan said he was greatly concerned about Bannon's likelihood to reoffend and ordered a probation report be prepared before sentencing.

He remanded Bannon on bail until next February.

Detective Garda Paul Cornish told the court the first victim was walking home when she passed Bannon. He put his hand against her chest.

The second victim was walking to get a bus to college when Bannon put his hands inside her clothes. He felt her genitals and when she screamed he calmly walked away.

The last women was passing Bannon in the street when he grabbed her in between the legs before casually walking away.

A description of him was circulated among gardai and a patrol car spotted him a few days later in Kilmainham.

Gardai arrested him. He admitted the assaults, saying he was getting treatment.

Bannon told gardai he had had such urges since he was 10 years old.

Det Garda Cornish said the assaults affected all three women and caused them to be fearful walking down the street.

Defence counsel, Mr Pieter Le Vert BL, said Bannon attended counselling but had since been kicked off the course because of the offences.

Irish Independent

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