Tuesday 23 January 2018

Man sexually exploited teen in shopping centre

The defendant insisted the allegation against him was false – and he claimed gardaí were attempting to frame him. (stock photo)
The defendant insisted the allegation against him was false – and he claimed gardaí were attempting to frame him. (stock photo)
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A middle-aged man was convicted of the sexual exploitation of a teen in the toilet of an Irish shopping centre.

A Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury convicted Dahesh Patel (56) of exploiting the then 16-year-old boy after a four-day trial.

Patel, of Dillon's Court, Dillon's Cross, Cork, had denied the single charge on the indictment and insisted the incident complained of never happened.

However, the jury of seven men and five women convicted him after being sent out to consider its verdict yesterday morning.

Patel was convicted by a unanimous jury decision. Judge Sean O'Donnabháin remanded the defendant in custody for sentencing on May 10 next.

Patel was convicted of sexually exploiting the boy in the toilet of a Cork shopping centre on June 21, 2015.

The defendant insisted the allegation against him was false - and he claimed gardaí were attempting to frame him.

Patel claimed that, when he attended the garda station over the complaint, an officer told him he would be set up.

"I am going to stitch you up," Patel claimed he was told.

"(I said) Why would you do this to me when I did nothing to you?"

Patel also claimed that evidence in the case against him had been tampered with.

However, Siobhan Lankford BL, for the State, said the defendant was creating an incredible scenario.

In evidence, Patel said he was involved in a long-term relationship and rejected that he was capable of the behaviour as alleged.

The teen was interviewed by a specialist detective and his evidence was relayed by video to the trial.

Ms Lankford said that, as well as the video testimony, the jury was offered DNA evidence from clothing samples.

Saliva which was found on the underwear of the complainant was sent for forensic testing.

These tests found traces of Patel's DNA to be present.

In the video interview, the teen explained the sequence of events.

He said the entire incident left him feeling "awkwardish".

In cross-examination, defence counsel Mary Rose Gearty BL stressed that her client vehemently denied the allegation.

However, the teen said he was "really sure" about the events.

Irish Independent

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