Tuesday 23 July 2019

Unemployed hypnotist spared jail for groping Aer Lingus attendant

Ulrich Trappe leaves court. Photo: Mark Condren
Ulrich Trappe leaves court. Photo: Mark Condren

Tom Tuite

A German hypnotist has been spared jail for groping a flight attendant at Dublin Airport while he was waiting for a connecting flight to New York.

Ulrich Trappe (45) "stared and smiled" at the Aer Lingus employee when she turned around to confront him, Dublin District Court was told.

The divorced father-of-two was given a one-month suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to the sexual assault which happened on Sunday in Terminal 1.

Trappe, with an address in Berlin, Germany, was "exasperated" when he was brought before Judge John Cheatle after telling gardaí it was a game he would not dare play in Germany or America.

Garda Jack Farrell told the court Trappe "made no reply" when charged at Ballymun.

In an outline of the allegations, Gda Farrell told the court that gardaí received a call from Dublin Airport police who had detained the Berliner.

The Director of Public Prosecutions directed summary disposal, and Judge Cheatle accepted jurisdiction.

Gda Farrell told the court there was an objection to bail because the accused was a "flight risk". He told the court there was clear CCTV footage.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier told Judge Cheatle his client had no previous convictions. After a brief recess in the case, Mr Collier said Trappe was pleading guilty.

Gda Farrell said the flight attendant was not physically hurt but was more hurt emotionally. The court was told: "The accused approached her from the rear and grabbed her buttocks for a couple of seconds and proceeded to stare. When the injured party turned to confront the man, he stared and smiled at her."

The garda agreed with the solicitor that Trappe's behaviour in the station was erratic. He was touching the garda's tie and the officer had to tell him "to keep his feet and his hands to himself".

Mr Collier said his client had been diagnosed with depression and was on medication.

Mr Collier said his client was an unemployed hypnotist.

Judge Cheatle imposed a one-month sentence, suspended on condition he did not re-offend in the next year.

Irish Independent

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