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Man caught masturbating in Lurgan as children played nearby jailed for three months

A woman travelling with her 10-year-old niece saw him lying on his side; she could 'clearly see he was masturbating' and accused was 'smiling and obviously aroused' while children were playing in the area at the time

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A man who was spotted masturbating in Lurgan near where children were playing has been sentenced to three months in custody.

Patrick McGinley, 39, with an address in Staffordshire, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via video-link from Maghaberry, charged with indecent behaviour. A second charge of indecent exposure was withdrawn.

The court heard that on June 11 of this year, police were tasked to a report of a man masturbating in a residential area of Lurgan.

Police spoke with the reporting person and her daughter, who made a written statement of complaint.

The reporting person claimed she had been travelling in her mother’s vehicle with her 10-year-old niece, when she observed the defendant lying on a grassy area on his side.

Later, whilst exiting the area, she observed the man and “could clearly see him masturbating.” She further stated that he was “smiling and was obviously aroused” and there were children playing in the area at this time.

The defendant was subsequently arrested and taken to Banbridge custody.

McGinley’s defence counsel, Seamus Lannon BL, stated that defendant “apologises for his conduct” and claimed that his client had made the case at interview that he had been “urinating”.

“He comes before the court with an otherwise clear record and I would ask the court to deal with it in a proportionate way,” he added.

District Judge Bernie Kelly, confused by the defendant’s story at interview, asked: “Is there any particular reason he would go to the toilet lying down?”

“His explanation makes absolutely no pragmatic sense,” District Judge Kelly added. “This was wholly unacceptable behaviour, in broad daylight, in a built up area where there were children.”

McGinley was sentenced to a period of three months in custody, along with the £25 offender levy.

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