A man who masturbated on a bus from Dublin to Portlaoise received the benefit of the probation act at Portlaoise District Court last Thursday.
Before the court was Jaime Marcuello (40) of 15 Glenbrook, Ballyroan who was charged with offensive conduct of a sexual nature on July 26, 2019.
Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that two young ladies boarded the green bus in Dublin, to Portlaoise on July 26, 2019. They were in their early 20s.
One sat in front of Mr Marcuello and the other to the side of him. One of the girls fell asleep. The other observed Mr Marcuello going to the toilet a number of times. She then observed him masturbating on the bus. She woke her friend and contacted the Gardaí.
Defending solicitor, Philip Meagher said that Mr Marcuello was a 40-year old man. He had made no form of contact with either girl on the bus. This was a significant embarrassment for him.
Mr Meagher told the court that Mr Marcuello worked in a financial institution in Dublin. In the week before the incident he had received bad news about his mother who was in poor health.
He went to a work function on the evening in question. At the function he broke the news of his mother to a number of his work colleagues. He consumed a large amount of alcohol.
A colleague subsequently brought him to the bus. He was in a very inebriated state.
On the bus he had had to go to the toilet on a number of occasions. He did not realise what he was doing.
He fully appreciated that his behaviour was appalling and realises that taking that amount of drink was inappropriate. He had stopped drinking and attended a counselling course.
He had written a letter of apology to both girls. He had €1,000 in court for each girl.
Judge Catherine Staines said it was abhorrent behaviour, which was extremely disturbing and upsetting. She said that Mr Marcuello's behaviour in the bus merited a prison sentence.
She noted that Mr Marcuello had no previous convictions, was in good employment, had received bad news about his mother, and was intoxicated.
She had read the injured party's statement in detail and noted that Mr Marcuello attempted no contact with either girl on the bus.
He had become totally absorbed in his own self-gratification, she said. He had chosen to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity and had written a sincere letter of apology.
She noted that he had €2,000 in court for both of the girls. Because one of them had not witnessed the incident, she ordered that €1,000 be paid to Laois Domestic Violence.
She said that the other girl could avail of the €1,000 if she so wished.
Noting that it was an aberration and that she was giving him an opportunity, Judge Staines applied the probation act.