A former Longford retail assistant who had previously pleaded not guilty to inappropriately touching a young boy while his mother was paying for groceries has changed his plea to guilty.
At last week’s sitting of Longford District Court, Judge Seamus Hughes viewed CCTV footage of the alleged event.
“This was a clear intentional touching of the young boy. He asked the child if he was a boy or girl and he satisfied his own curiosity with a very fleeting touch of the boy’s genitals,” said Judge Hughes.
“There’s a premeditation to do it. It was in public and in full view of the mother. It could only happen quickly.”
Solicitor for the defence, Frank Gearty, explained that his client had been living in the country for 19 years and worked at his former retail job for 13 years. He lost his job as a result of the alleged incident.
“He’s devastated by the allegations,” said Mr Gearty.
“He says he had no intention to molest the boy. He lost his job but I’ve said he’d have to come up with compensation,” said Mr Gearty.
“He is to come up with €1,000 compensation, to be given to the mother to spend as she sees fit for the benefit of the child,” said Judge Hughes.
The man is to have the money for the boy’s mother by July 21, Judge Hughes said, adding that he would then finalise with a fine of €250 with three months to pay.
“I don’t think it appropriate to give him a suspended sentence,” he concluded.