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Man who touched his penis off fellow bus passenger while 'trying to urinate' gets suspended sentence

The judge noted the offence appeared not to be for sexual gratification but occurred when the man was in need of “relieving himself.”

The incident happened on a Dublin Bus in June 2017. (File photo)
The incident happened on a Dublin Bus in June 2017. (File photo)
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A DUBLIN MAN who touched a fellow bus passenger’s shoulder with his penis claimed he had been urinating when the vehicle jerked forward and pushed him towards the woman, a court has heard. 

Thomas McMahon (35) of Aideen Avenue, Terenure, today received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to exposure on a Dublin Bus in Crumlin on 28 June, 2017. 

Judge Melanie Greally noted the offence appeared not to be for sexual gratification but occurred while McMahon was inebriated and in need of “relieving himself.” 

She noted his long-standing drug and alcohol addictions which he is endeavouring to address and his history of mental health issues. She took into account his embarrassment and shame at his actions. 

Judge Greally imposed a one year sentence which she suspended for 12 months on strict conditions. 

Garda Conor O’Neill agreed with David Staunton BL, defending, that the victim told gardaí that the bus had jerked forward when she noticed McMahon’s penis on her shoulder. 

He also accepted that McMahon said he had problems with urinating due to both his alcohol and drug addictions and that although he could not remember the incident, he thought it was most likely that he had gone to the back of the bus to urinate. 

It was further accepted that McMahon was disgusted by his behaviour and extremely remorseful. 

Gda O’Neill accepted a suggestion from Staunton that McMahon “is now in better shape than he had been at the time” and he had “taken steps to rehabilitate”. 

Staunton submitted to Judge Greally that McMahon “didn’t have his wits about him because of his addiction”. 

“He had gone to the back of the bus with the intention of urinating. There was no sexual element to it. He was not seeking to sexually gratify himself with making contact with her,” counsel said. 

Gda O’Neill told Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, prosecuting, that the woman was heading into town on the bus when she noticed one man was sitting alone on the other aisle. 

She didn’t notice him sit in behind her but when the bus jerked she felt his penis on her shoulder. She saw he was standing up behind her and that his penis was not erect. 

The woman screamed at him and ran down to the bus driver. McMahon got off the bus and the driver pulled up at the next lights and called gardaí. 

The woman prepared a victim impact report in which she stated that it was “the scariest thing that had happened me on a bus”. She took two days off work but otherwise the incident had no long-lasting impact on her. 

Gda O’Neill confirmed that McMahon was identified as a suspect from CCTV from the bus. He was arrested and co-operated with the investigation, although he said he had no recollection of the incident. 

McMahon has 10 previous convictions for District Court offences such as public order and assault.

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Sonya McLean and Fiona Ferguson

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