Judge's jail warning to pensioner who flashed at children
A PENSIONER who exposed himself to children attending an Irish college last summer, and offered them money for sex, has been given a suspended 11-month sentence with strict conditions attached.
Judge Mary Fahy warned Joe Finnerty, a 70-year-old bachelor from Turlough, Rosmuc, Co Galway, that he would go to prison if he exposed himself again.
The judge said the Rosmuc area was highly populated each summer with pupils from all over the country who go there to learn Irish.
"Many of these young students are away from home for the first time and their parents are paying high fees," Judge Fahy said. "They want their children to have a positive experience and not meet the likes of Mr Finnerty."
Finnerty had pleaded guilty before Galway District Court last week to three charges of indecently exposing himself to young girls, aged between 10 and 13, near his home on three occasions between July 14 and 27 last year.
He also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a female care assistant while he was convalescing after a burst appendix at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway, on September 13.
Finnerty was remanded in custody and the matter adjourned until yesterday to give local Garda Brendan Kineavy time to see if a caravan Finnerty was using to expose himself to the children as they passed by his home each day could be removed from the area.
The judge suspended the 11-month sentence for two years on condition Finnerty be of good behaviour and not reoffend; not enter the caravan beside his home and have the caravan removed altogether by March 20; refrain from alcohol; attend his GP and take all prescribed medication; and commence an alcohol treatment programme.
At Gda Kineavy's suggestion the judge also imposed a nightly curfew on Finnerty and banned him from going near a local shop daily from 12.30 to 2pm and again from 5.30 to 7pm.
Gda Kineavy explained the students visited the shop at lunchtime and again in the evenings and he did not want Finnerty near the premises at these times.