TD's son locked up for mugging and indecent exposure
Published 19/05/2010 | 05:00
THE son of a Fianna Fail TD has been detained for exposing himself to a woman and then robbing her.
Peter Fleming, son of Laois Offaly TD Sean Fleming, pleaded guilty to mugging the 24-year-old foreign national -- leaving her terrified and afraid to go out on her own after dark.
Fleming, of Silveracre, Castletown, Mountrath, Co Laois has four previous convictions for indecency dating back to when he was 16.
He said he is dealing with his psychosexual difficulties and is aware of the impact of his behaviour.
"I'd like to apologise to her first off," said the 19-year-old. "I do understand what effect it has on her now. I don't want that to happen to anyone again."
But Judge Anthony Kennedy said that Fleming's understanding of the impact was "facile" and added that his acceptance of responsibility was "glib".
Garda Paul Dooley told Portlaoise Circuit Court the woman had just left work in the town shortly before 6pm on November 21 last year when she heard someone calling her.
She kept walking but took out her phone. When he called again, she turned around and saw him pull up his top and pull down his trousers.
As she hurried on, she received a punch in the neck which knocked her to the ground, and the man ran away with her bag. A passer-by gave chase and then Gda Dooley pursued Fleming for more than half a kilometre.
Fleming initially denied the offence in interviews, saying he had run away only because he had €20 worth of cannabis, but he pleaded guilty when the case first came before the court.
"I know the impact on people now. I shouldn't be at it. I want to get it fixed," said the teenager, who has been in a protection unit at St Patrick's Institution since November, told the court.
Fleming, who got an A1 in Leaving Cert maths which he studied while in custody, said he was willing to take his punishment.
Judge Kennedy said he doubted whether the teenager was committed to treatment.
He sentenced him to two years' detention in St Patrick's for the robbery, suspending the final year on condition he be supervised by the Probation Service for 18 months after release. He imposed a three-month sentence for indecent exposure.