Convicted sex offender jailed one day after release from court

By Declan Brennan

A convicted sex offender allegedly caught masturbating near a children's party a day after being released from court has been jailed.

The Dublin man, who cannot be named by court order, has two previous convictions for sexual assault on juveniles.

He was serving the suspended portion of an 18-month sentence imposed in March 2017 for breaching an order prohibiting interaction with children.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that he is an alcoholic and has scored high on a risk assessment test which considered his alcohol abuse problems as a contributory factor.

Earlier this month Probation Service official told the court that the 67-year-old man continued to drink and that his drinking has caused management problems at his hostel.

He was released to appear again before the court but failed to show up for court last Wednesday and Judge Patricia Ryan issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

On Friday he appeared in court and Judge Ryan released him on continuing bail and ordered a letter from the hostel.

Today, the man again failed to show up to court and Grainne O'Neill BL, prosecuting, told the court that he had been arrested on Saturday for indecency.

She said he was caught masturbating at a children's party at a location in Dublin city centre. Judge Ryan issued another bench warrant for the man but he later presented himself to court.

Judge Ryan said that while the man was entitled to the presumption of innocence on the most recent allegation, it was a pertinent matter for the court to consider and had a bearing on a decision of whether or not to re-activate the suspended sentence.

That sentence was imposed in March 2017 by Judge Ryan after the man admitted contravening an order prohibiting interaction with children.

The court heard the man had attempted to talk to children out playing. He was intoxicated at the time and a garda observed him with his hand on his crotch and his zip undone.

The man pleaded guilty to contravening the order at a location in the city on August 11, 2016 and Judge Ryan had imposed an 18-month-sentence which she backdated to the date of the offence.

She had suspended the balance of the sentence on condition he comply with all directions of the Probation Service and remain abstinent from non-prescription intoxicants.

The court heard then that a Probation Services report outlined that a multidisciplinary plan was in place for the man and was only available in the community and not in custody.

Today, Judge Ryan said the man has been in breach of the conditions of his release and activated the remainder of the suspended sentence.

The man is due before Dublin District Court in September in relation to the allegations of indecency last weekend.

In 2015, Judge Martin Nolan heard evidence that the man was a risk to the public because of his risk of re-offending and his alcohol abuse issues.

He imposed a five-year order under the 2001 Sex Offenders Act which set strict conditions on the man, including that he have no interaction with children and not loiter where children gather. It was this order that the man admitted breaching in August 2016.

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