Convicted sex offender breached court order by using public transport

A convicted sex offender with convictions for sacrilege and buggery of an animal breached a court order by using public transport without first informing gardaí, writes Liz Farsaci.

Anthony Goodman (72) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to breaking a court order which required him to inform gardaí before travelling on public transport.

In June 2012, an order was made at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that prohibited Goodman from attending certain locations in Cork, and from travelling on public transport – with the exception of one local bus route – unless he gave gardaí two hours’ notice of his intention to do so.

Judge Elma Sheahan backdated a sentence of two and a half years to September 2015, when he went into custody and suspended the final eight months.

Goodman admitted to not giving the gardaí adequate notice before boarding a bus on Westmoreland Street, Dublin on 26 August 2015, and before boarding a bus to Enniskerry on 14 June 2015 from D’Olier Street, Dublin.

Gardaí were alerted to Goodman’s presence on the bus in August 2015 by a woman who made a complaint to gardaí and gave them a detailed description of Goodman.

On the second occasion a garda inspector saw Goodman board the bus and later confirmed that he had not alerted officers.

Goodman, of no fixed abode, was arrested in relation to these offences on 3 September 2015, and he has remained in custody since then.

Garda David Dutton said Goodman came off the sex offenders register a few days ago, on 29 June, after being on it for five years.

Garda Dutton said Mr Goodman has over 200 previous convictions, which date back to the 1980s, and involve incidents in both Ireland and the UK.

These offences include sexual assault, causing electricity to be diverted, buggery with an animal, and sacrilege.

Four previous convictions were also in relation to travelling on public transport without prior notification to gardaí.

Desmond Hayes BL, defending, said his client is married, and his wife lives in Dublin. The relationship is somewhat strained, but Mr Hayes said he was instructed that they are on good terms at the moment.

“He was foolish enough not to notify gardaí,” Mr Hayes told the court. “It was somewhat of an oversight and it’s cost him 22 months of his freedom. He wants to get on with his life and he says he’s lost 22 months of freedom and time with his wife.

“He is apologetic for his stupidity for not notifying gardaí of his intention to use public transport,” Mr Hayes added.

Monika Leech, BL, prosecuting, said Garda Dutton raised concerns that Goodman would not live with his wife if released and Goodman indicated through his legal counsel that he would go into homeless accommodation.

Judge Sheahan said she was structuring her sentence so that the accused “will benefit from the suspended sentence as of today”.

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