A 69-year-old man dressed in woman’s clothing who exposed himself to a four-year-old child in a public toilet has been given a suspended sentence.
Before the district court was George Dobson, of Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, charged with indecency at Lyster Square, Portlaoise, on April 2.
The case was previously adjourned for a medical report on Dobson, and solicitor Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick last week told Judge Catherine Staines that her client was fit to plead guilty to the offence.
Evidence was given by Inspector Aidan Farrelly, who said that at 4pm on the day a lady entered the public toilet with her four-year-old child. She noticed a person in the cubicle, who was the defendant dressed in women’s clothing, and when he turned around he exposed himself to the woman and her child, causing them great distress.
Ms Fitzpatrick admitted it was “a very unsavory offence”.
“He had no business being there and he caused great distress,” said Ms Fitzpatrick. “He didn’t intend it, he was using the women’s toilet wrongly and unfortunately turned around and exposed himself.”
Ms Fitzpatrick said Dobson had €300 in court “as a gesture” and had written a letter of apology.
Judge Staines gave the letter of apology to Insp Farrelly and asked him to decide if it was appropriate to show to the injured party.
The judge noted that the psychiatric report on Dobson said he was bipolar and had experienced a difficult upbringing.
“This was no doubt very upsetting for the lady and her young child, and would normally deserve a prison sentence,” said Judge Staines.
However, she noted that 60-year-old Dobson had no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty, suffers with a psychiatric disorder and had provided a letter of apology and compensation. She imposed six months, suspended for two years, and ordered that the €300 go to Laois Domestic Abuse.