Friday 13 December 2019

Man allegedly touched young girl's (12) bottom in clothes shop, court hears

Stock photo
Stock photo

Declan Brennan

A man has received a suspended prison sentence after he followed a young girl into a children's clothes shop and touched her bottom.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that after Donnavan Staddon (39) assaulted the 12-year-old girl he went over to her friend and invited her to the cinema.

Garda Sergeant Brian Jenning told the court that CCTV footage showed Staddon entering the H&M shop behind two 12-year-old girls. The girls went downstairs into the children's clothes section of the shop and Staddon followed.

The victim told gardaí that a man glided his hand across her behind while walking by her.

Staddon then walked over to the other girl, who was standing elsewhere in the shop, and asked for directions to the cinema. The girl alleged that Staddon then asked her if she wanted to go to the cinema.

The girl walked away and back to her friend who told her of the assault. Staff were notified and gardaí stopped Staddon in the shopping centre and questioned him.

He said he thought the second girl was aged around 17 and denied inviting her to the cinema. He said he had been to the same cinema before but with his partner and that he had become lost this time.

Staddon of Elm Park, Donnybrook, Dublin pleaded guilty last November to assault at Dundrum shopping centre on June 21, 2014. He was due to face trial for the offence.

Today Judge Terence O'Sullivan said the case was a troubling one. He said Staddon sought the incident out and followed the girls.

He asked what business did Staddon have in the children's clothes section. He said the assault had an effect on the young girl.

He imposed a €500 fine and suspended a one month prison sentence on condition that Staddon keep the peace for three months. The maximum custodial penalty for assault is six months.

Gda Jenning told the court that the victim became upset when she heard last August that there would be a trial. In a victim impact statement she said her mother became stricter after the assault.

She told the court she didn't want Staddon to go to prison. Staddon has no previous convictions and worked previously as a security guard.

His wife, Dr Anita Staddon, told the court that they had a child in 2015 and that Staddon resigned from his job to support her in her career. She said the full time father was a good husband.

She said she didn't in any way condone his behaviour and told the court it was wrong. She said her husband didn't recall having deliberate contact with the girl.

Counsel for Staddon said he apologised to the victim and her parents. Judge O'Sullivan said he could accept that Staddon was a supportive husband and father.

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