Monday 26 August 2019

'Sex act' on local beach

Nicola Donnelly

A dad-of-four who engaged in an early morning sex act on himself in front of two girls on a beach has been placed on a 24 Probation Bond.

David McConnell (42) has also been ordered to attend a Safer Lives Programme as part of the conditions of his bond.

He blamed his significant financial difficulties for his actions and claimed his family home was in the process of being repossessed at the time he engaged in the offending behaviour on Balbriggan beach.

His solicitor described the incident as a 'very sorry episode' and the defendant apologises for his actions.

The incident happened at 7.30pm and the defendant was arrested a short time later, a court has heard.

Sergeant Darren Farrelly told Balbriggan District Court gardai received a report of a male engaging in a sex act on himself which was witnessed by two teenage girls.

'When he was arrested he admitted it and was cooperative,' said Sgt Farrelly.

The defendant, of Mill Road, Mornington in Co Meath pleaded guilty to indecency with the intention to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person on Balbriggan beach on June 23 last year.

Judge Dermot Dempsey had ordered a Probation Report to see if the defendant is suitable for 240 hours community service work in lieu of a month in prison.

However, after a report was handed in, Judge Dempsey noted it placed the defendant at 'high risk' of re-offending and adjourned the case until a later date for a counsellor's report before finalisation.

At a previous court sitting, solicitor James Allen said the defendant apologises for his actions and handed in a letter from the defendant's counsellor outlining the efforts he has been making in the recent past.

'He had significant difficulties at the time as his family home was in the process of being possessed,' said Mr Allen, adding that committing the offence was 'completely out of character.'

'It is a very sorry episode and he is taking steps to deal with it," added Mr Allen, asking the court to allow the defendant to continue with his counselling.

'He is extremely remorseful and embarrassed to be before the court,' said Mr Allen.

'He is trying to put his best foot forward.'

The court heard that although the defendant is attending counselling - on an irregular basis as he cannot finance it himself regularly, there was no counsellor's report available.

Judge Dermot Dempsey had ordered a number of reports previously which were handed into court and finalising the case, he placed the defendant on a 24 month Probation Bond subject to conditions.

Fingal Independent