Thursday 14 December 2017

Sex offender 'made lewd comments' in city cafe

Stock picture
Stock picture

Andrew Phelan

A sex offender with more than 300 previous convictions plagued a city centre cafe with unwanted visits, using "lewd and sexual" language towards customers, a court has heard.

The frightened cafe owner said nuisance Paddy McCann (67) "kept coming back" no matter what he tried to do to keep him away and the situation became "traumatic".

McCann, who had 343 prior convictions, including two for sexual assault, claimed he was a "man of God" who always went to Mass.

Judge Grainne Malone found him gulity of one count of trespassing at the cafe in the College Green area and jailed him for three months.

McCann, of no fixed address, had pleaded not guilty, claiming he was doing nothing wrong.

The cafe owner told Dublin District Court he was working on the afternoon of April 9 and, when he came back from the store room, McCann was in the kitchen.

"That would normally be a shock to me but we have had a history of incidents with Mr McCann," he said.

"He wasn't sober, but he wasn't severely drunk." He asked staff to call gardai, who arrived and arrested McCann.

"He should never have been in the cafe in the first place," said the owner.

McCann smelled strongly of alcohol and told gardai he had drunk half a bottle of wine. He could not remember his date of birth and became verbally abusive, saying he had "done nothing f**king wrong".

McCann claimed he had been upstairs having a cup of tea and came down to use the toilet. When he came out, he said, he "put his foot in the kitchen" and asked for a glass of water.

"I didn't become aggressive, I am a good living man, I always go to Mass," he said. "I am a man of God."

The cafe owner said: "We have had him interfering with customers, using lewd and sexual language and taking meals from customers."

The court heard that McCann's wife had passed away in "tragic and unforeseen circumstances". He had been homeless for 14 years.

Judge O'Neill said she was not without sympathy, but sentenced him to six months with the last three suspended.

Herald

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