Portlaoise Court: Month in jail for 71-year-old man's indecent public display


Portlaoise Court: Month in jail for 71-year-old man's indecent public display

A 71-year-old Portlaoise man has been sentenced to one month in prison having been convicted of masturbating in a public place.

Before last week's sitting of the district court, George Dobson (71), with an address at the Mountrath Road, Portlaoise, was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, at Main Street, Portlaoise, on September 24, 2015.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that a member of the public reported to the gardaí that the accused was masturbating in a public place, at 12.40pm.

The accused had seven previous convictions, including a similar offence in 2013.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted her client’s behaviour had been appalling, and he was aware that he was at risk of going to prison.

“At 71, one would think he might know better,” said Ms Fitzpatrick. “He cannot offer a reason for doing it.”

Saying that her client was very ashamed of his behaviour, defence said that Dobson had written a letter of apology and had €285 compensation to offer.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that her client, who is in receipt of his old age pension, was not fit to do community service.

“He live a very solitary existence,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

Judge Catherine Staines said she had given the accused numerous opportunities, and he had committed a similar type of offence before in the presence of young children.

“It’s the end of the line, this behaviour is not acceptable,” said Judge Staines, imposing one month in prison.

Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.