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Chef tried to video up ladies' skirts in busy shop

A FRENCH chef who tried to take video footage up women's skirts at a Penney's store was told by a judge that 99pc of Irish women wear trousers.

The 53-year-old was caught by gardai with his mobile phone turned on video mode.

Staff became suspicious when Pierre Marechal began hanging around the Penney's store at Eyre Square, Galway over a two-month period.

When gardai asked Marechal why he was hanging around the store so much, he pointed to a shopping bag under a rack of clothing and told them it contained his mobile phone.

Marechal confessed he had left the video on his phone in 'record' mode in hopes of capturing images up unsuspecting women's skirts as they shopped.

Marechal, with a rental address at Mount Carmel, Coast Road, Oranmore, Galway pleaded guilty before Galway District Court to breaching the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at Penney's Eyre Square, Galway on April 14 last year.

Defence solicitor Sean Acton said his client was a bit of a loner and he had lost his job as a chef around this time.

He said Marechal was from Paris but had been living in Ireland for 12 years.

Gardai checked Marechal's house but he had not downloaded any of the images to his computer.

The judge observed that Marechal must have been really annoyed to find that 99pc of Irish women wear trousers.

"But no one was being harassed and this was done undercover," Judge Mary Fahy said.

"Yes, quite literally," the solicitor replied.

The judge said it seemed Marechal had difficulty forming relationships and she advised him to seek counselling before imposing a €300 fine.

hnews@herald.ie