A JUDGE has expressed concern that a 36-year-old man who exposed himself to a classroom of eight and nine-year-olds committed further offences of a sexual nature at the University of Limerick after getting bail.
Charles King, previously of Riverside Drive, Shannon Banks, admitted a number of counts of indecency but avoided prison after volunteering to undergo random urine tests for drink and drugs and to continue psychotherapy.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly applied strict conditions to a probation bond after noting a probation officer’s view that King was “at a high risk of reoffending”.
Limerick District Court previously heard how King had stood at the fence of a suburban primary school on January 20 last and exposed himself in full view of a classroom of children. The same school was the scene of a similar offence shortly afterwards.
On June 10, a woman was walking alone on a path towards the University of Limerick when King approached from behind, saying “touch it”. On turning around, she saw King with his erect penis exposed.
Another woman had crossed the Living Bridge on the campus at around 10.30pm on June 24. As she entered a courtyard, she saw King behind a building with his genitals exposed. He appeared to be masturbating and attempted to follow her for a brief period.
At around 2.50pm on October 5, 2011, Det Garda Sandra Heelan was on O’Connell Street when she observed King masturbating in his car, arising from which he was charged with committing a lewd act in public.
Judge O’Kelly said the court had a duty to ensure that “the people he engaged in these activities with are protected”.
“Here is a man who was brought before a special sitting of this court for behaving in this manner in the vicinity of a school and who having got bail went to the University of Limerick campus and reoffended in exactly the same way,” the judge said.
King, who has been imprisoned for indecency in the past and was also convicted by a court in Holland for a similar offence in 2010, had “a serious underlying problem with something in his past”, his solicitor Chris Lynch said.
Drugs and alcohol were also a factor and Mr Lynch said he was now staying away from these substances.
Judge O’Kelly placed King on a 12-month probation bond based on an undertaking that King abstain from drink and drugs; submit to random urine analysis; attend any addiction services recommended by probation officers; continue to attend Shannon Day Hospital and a psychotherapist.
He gave the state liberty to re-enter the matters should King not comply with any of these conditions.