Trial underway of elderly man facing four charges of harassment in a Mayo town


MOBILE phone footage taken by teenage girls in a Co. Mayo town of a man they believed to be masturbating in their presence was shown to Judge Rory MacCabe and a jury at the Circuit Criminal Court today.

The video evidence was shown on the opening day of the trial of an elderly man who faces four charges of harassing the youngsters on various dates between July 5 and August 9 last year.

The accused is pleading not guilty to all charges taken against him contrary to Section10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997.

The alleged victims were all in the 14/15 age bracket at the time. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

They told prosecuting counsel Mr. Patrick Reynolds at today's trial they believed they were being followed by the accused and filmed him masturbating with his left hand in his pocket behind a newspaper on a number of occasions.

They said they felt scared and worried by what was happening and told their parents and the gardaí because they didn't what was happening to them being done to others.

One of the witnesses told the court the incidents badly affected her.

“I felt sick, scared and disgusted,” she stated.

Cross-examined by defence counsel, Mr. Brendan McDonagh, all of the witnesses agreed they had not actually seen the accused's penis at the time of the incidents they outlined.

When it was put to them by Mr. McDonagh that medical evidence would be given to the court that the accused often put his hand in his pocket to hide the fact he suffered from a tremor as a result of neurologicaal disorder, the witnesses denied they might have misinterpreted what they had seen.

The final witness to give evidence said: “I know what it was. It wasn't a tremble.”

The trial is continuing.