A middle-aged man accused of sexually exploiting a 16-year-old boy at a shopping centre toilet was found guilty of the crime, in spite of the man’s claims the boy lied and gardaí stitched him up.
The jury took less than an hour to deliver their unanimous verdict against Dahesh Patel.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remanded Patel, aged 56, of Dillon’s Court, Dillon’s Cross, Cork, in custody for sentencing on May 10 and said: “Some kind of medical or psychiatric report might be in order.”
Patel said he was married to his partner, William, for 27 years and never had anyone’s penis in his mouth. He agreed with Mary Rose Gearty, defending, he had never done so because of concerns for his personal hygiene.
The complainant said Patel first caught and moved his penis and then put it in his mouth. The 16-year-old said it happened as he was standing at a urinal unable to urinate.
The boy said he had gone to the shopping centre that day to buy soccer cards. He appeared by video link to Courtroom 2 at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Asked what his understanding of what a courtroom was, he said it was like Judge Judy on TV.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin reminded the jury of this and other evidence as he addressed the jury yesterday, on the fourth day of the trial.
The teenager had said: “I was under the impression I needed a pee. The man just stared at me and nothing was happening. He said: ‘We can make it happen.’ He grabbed my private. He claimed he was trying to help. He put it in his mouth. That really confused me. What is he doing? He said: ‘Do you want some more?’ I said: ‘No thanks,’ and he left.”
In cross-examining, Ms Gearty said: “My client said he did not touch you. Could you be wrong about that? Are you telling a lie? Have you made a mistake?”
The boy replied” “No.”
“He tells me he did not do what you said. Are you sure that happened?” Ms Gearty asked.
The complainant replied: “I am really sure that happened.”
The accused was identified on CCTV, arrested at Myrtleville, Co Cork, and questioned by gardaí.
Patel said when he was being questioned in the Garda station, one of the detectives turned to him and said: ‘I am going to stitch you up’. Patel said he replied to the garda: “Why would you do this to me when I did nothing wrong to you?”
This allegation was totally denied, as were others that gardaí had lied or had tampered with evidence so it looked like Patel’s saliva was present on the complainant’s underpants.
In relation to the presence of saliva on the underpants of the injured party and DNA evidence linking this to the accused, Patel said this had been placed there by somebody else. He completely denied having anything to do with the crime and said he did not touch the boy in any way.
Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting, said: “You are concocting accounts to exonerate yourself.”
Patel denied that.
“You are asking the jury to believe that it is an enormous conspiracy dreamed up by the complainant and all the guards,” Ms Lankford said.
The accused said he did not do it and the gardaí and complainant were lying.
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