Saturday 15 December 2018

Man jailed for trespassing and 'sexual' comments to pupils at private girls' school

Judge Kelleher was told Hopkins has a total of 101 previous convictions, none involving any offence of a sexual nature. Stock image
Judge Kelleher was told Hopkins has a total of 101 previous convictions, none involving any offence of a sexual nature. Stock image

Ralph Riegel

A man who trespassed into one of Ireland's most prestigious girls' secondary schools and made "sexual and suggestive" comments to a shocked teen near a toilet cubicle was jailed for 10 months.

Tadhg Hopkins (40) was sentenced after pleading guilty before Judge Olan Kelleher at Cork District Court to charges in relation to incidents at Scoil Mhuire on June 6 last, the opening day of the Leaving Certificate examinations.

Judge Kelleher was told Hopkins, of Nash's Boreen halting site, Fairhill, Cork, had walked into a secure area of the fee-paying Cork school by following someone with a security pass card.

Once inside the school at Sidney Place on Wellington Road, he wandered around until he came to the girls' toilet block.

A Leaving Cert student later said she got the fright of her life when, on emerging from a toilet cubicle, she saw a middle-aged man unzipping his trousers and chatting to her in a sexual way.

The court heard there was absolutely no suggestion that Hopkins had attempted to make any type of physical contact with anyone.

"This young woman was starting her Leaving Cert," Judge Kelleher said.

"It is not what you would hope to deal with when doing a State examination. It [clearly] had such consequences for her. She did observe him [Hopkins] undoing his zip in front of her and she got the fright of her life."

Hopkins admitted that he trespassed at the school without reasonable excuse in a manner likely to cause fear in another person.

He also admitted that he intentionally engaged in offensive conduct of a sexual nature. Inspector Ronan Kennelly said Hopkins also had a conversation with two girls near an elevator that was both sexual and suggestive in nature.

One of the girls was a Junior Cert student.

Judge Kelleher was told Hopkins has a total of 101 previous convictions, none involving any offence of a sexual nature.

Irish Independent

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