Fri, 04 Dec, 2020 – 19:18
A 79-year-old man who propositioned a schoolboy for sex in a public toilet in north Cork was released after 10 days in prison yesterday when the balance of an 18-month sentence was suspended.
Denis Carey of Garden Field, Dromcollogher, Co Limerick, was sentenced on the charge of sexual exploitation of a child at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “This was a concerning case, given the age of the accused, 79, and the nature of the offence.
“He was watching for an opportunity between a school and the toilet. He made a very deliberate approach to the youth in the toilet.
“That youth kept his head and reported it to his parents and the accused was followed by them and the gardaí were notified.” Judge Ó Donnabháin had remanded the accused in custody on November 25 for sentencing yesterday.
The judge said he did so because the accused seemed to have a lack of insight into the offence. The judge was also concerned about a course being available for the treatment of the accused that could be supervised by the probation service. It was confirmed by the probation service yesterday that such a treatment programme was available and could be supervised by the probation service.
In those circumstances the judge imposed a sentence of 18 months backdated to November 25 when the accused went into custody with the balance of the sentence suspended from yesterday.
Detective Garda Yvonne Cashman gave evidence of Denis Carey’s sexual exploitation of a child.
Det Garda Cashman said a 15-year-old schoolboy in uniform went into the public toilet, went into a cubicle and urinated and then was walking out of the toilets when Denis Carey, who was watching him, called to him and asked him to perform oral sex.
Det Garda Cashman said the elderly man put one hand on his crotch and with his other hand he made a forward and back gesture with his fist in front of his mouth.
The schoolboy left and went home without any interaction with the accused whom he did not know. Half an hour later he told his father what had happened.
“They drove back to the toilets and saw the defendant sitting in his car outside. They made eye contact with him. He drove off immediately. They were on the phone to gardaí and followed the suspect.
“Both cars stopped outside [the local] garda station. He made a voluntary statement. He denied anything happened. He admitted knowing he [complainant] was a child and admitted asking him [to engage in oral sex]. He said he thought the boy was in the public toilet for sex,” Det Garda Cashman said.
CCTV showed that four times in a period of 20 minutes that afternoon the accused had gone in and out of the toilets. At one stage he went to his car and drove it to a spot closer to the toilets.
Donal O’Sullivan, defending, submitted that the defendant had reached this stage in his life without being convicted of any offence and is a married man with four adult children.