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Pensioner who sexually assaulted 84-year-old man on rural bus walks free from court

The married father of three pleaded guilty to sexual assault at an unknown location on the N68 route linking Kilrush to Ennis.
Jun 19th 2018, 8:12 PM 27,848 0

A PENSIONER WHO sexually assaulted an 84-year-old man on a rural Bus Eireann service today walked free from court.

The sex assault on a Bus Eireann west Clare service last June was videoed by a third party on his smart phone and at Kilrush District Court today, Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a €1,000 fine on the 70-year-old accused and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ register.

In the case, the married father of three pleaded guilty to sexual assault contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law Rape Amendment Act on 9 June 2017 at an unknown location between Kilrush and Lissycasey on the N68 route linking Kilrush to Ennis.

Garda Eoin Daly previously told the court that a passenger sitting across the aisle from the two men on the west Clare Bus Eireann service to Ennis filmed the assault on his smart-phone.

The third party who filmed the incident uploaded the footage to Facebook.

Gardai were able to obtain that footage along with internal bus CCTV footage of the incident from Bus Eireann as part of their investigation.

The victim in the case had got on the Kilkee to Ennis service and he was joined by the accused on the bus when it made its stop to pick up passengers at Kilrush.

Judge Durcan told the court today that the accused was sitting beside the 84-year-old man “and placed his hands on the man’s genitals. The effect of this incident on the injured party was very serious”.

Judge Durcan described the assault as “a hugely serious incident” and that the victim feels that his freedom by virtue of his frequent use prior to the incident on public transport “is considerably restricted”.

On behalf of the accused, solicitor, Patrick Moylan said: “This incident is an example of how one mistake can ruin a 70-year-old life and that is exactly what it has done.”

Moylan said that he has had many consultations with clients before the courts over the years “and I don’t think I have ever seen a client more affected by an offence to date”.

Moylan said that on the date, his client missed the first bus and consumed alcohol while waiting for the second bus.

On the incident, Moylan said: “If he had his life to live again, it certainly wouldn’t happen and the court need not be concerned that there is any chance of a repeat.”

Moylan said that his client is a married man with three adult children and has no previous convictions.

Moylan said: “My client is a man who lives in the country and is part of rural society. While there have been reporting restrictions, it is known far and wide about this case. It was put on Facebook and published by other means.”

He said: “My client is deeply ashamed by it. It has caused him huge distress to himself, his family and his friends. He has seen people treat him differently since this incident and he in no way wishes to play down what he did.”

Moylan said that his client also made an early plea of guilty with the gardaí.

Judge Durcan said that in imposing the sentence, he took into account the ages of both the accused and the injured party and that the accused had no previous convictions.

Judge Durcan said that he would accede to a request by the victim that his victim impact statement not be read out in court.

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Gordon Deegan

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