Jail for Salthill man who took upskirt photos with mobile phone

Victims left shocked and traumatised after incidents in Shop Street and on the Prom

Brendan Beatty pictured leaving Galway District Court yesterday (Wednesday) evening. Photo: Andrew Downes

Brendan Beatty pictured leaving Galway District Court yesterday (Wednesday) evening. Photo: Andrew Downes

A total of seven months jail was imposed this week on a young Salthill man who used his mobile phone to take photos under the skirts of two women, indecently touched another woman on the prom, and viciously assaulted a security guard after fleeing a city centre chemist.

The actions of 21-year-old Brendan Beatty were described by Judge Mary Fahy as “absolutely outrageous” after she dismissed a dysfunctional childhood or any other problems as a reasonable excuses for such behaviour.

Beatty, with an address at 30 Lenaboy Gardens, Salthill, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court yesterday to two counts of assault and two counts of engaging in threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

Inspector Sean Glynn told the court that on November 14, 2007, the defendant entered Boots Chemist, in Shop Street, and used his phone to take a photo under the skirt of a female patron. He was spotted by security staff who confiscated the phone. However when the defendant attempted to flee the scene a security man followed him. The security man was “hit a number times in the face” leaving him with marks, according to Inspector Glynn.

The inspector then said that on November 20, 2007, on Shop Street at approximately 4.20pm Beatty came up behind another girl and put his phone under her skirt to take a photo. On December 26, 2007, at around 6.30pm a young woman was walking on her own on the Promenade in Salthill when she was approached from behind by the defendant who then proceeded to touch her leg area. The inspector said that the woman was so shocked and traumatised by the indecent behaviour that she found it difficult to attend for job interviews for some time after. The defendant had no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn told Judge Mary Fahy that his client had suffered at an early age because of growing up in a “dysfunctional home” where there was “alcoholism and bullying”. He added that “it was not a normal childhood” and that Beatty has “serious problems” as a result.

“I don’t care what problems he has. Never before have I heard of problems manifesting themselves in that manner. One victim was so traumatised that she was barely able to attend an interview,” said Judge Fahy.

While not condoning the behaviour, Mr MacLynn asked Judge Fahy to take into account the fact that his client is a “victim of his upbringing” but was taking steps to address it. The court heard that the defendant had been seeing a psychologist since last January and has apologised to all the injured parties.

Judge Fahy stressed that not only was the taking of the photos traumatic but there was also the “added fear of them being put up on the internet”.

For the assault on November 14, a three month sentence was imposed. For breach of the peace on November 20 a one month consecutive sentence was imposed, and for the assault on December 26 Beatty received a further three month consecutive sentence. A two month concurrent sentence was imposed for the second breach of the peace. Recognisance on his own bond was fixed at €1,000 with independent surety of €1,000, one half to be lodged

 

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