herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Man exposed himself on river bank, court told

CASE: Alleged victim was "shocked and afraid"

A YOUNG man exposed himself to a bank worker and performed a sex act in front of her as she walked home from work in broad daylight in south Dublin, it has been alleged.

Mark Curneen (23) is alleged to have exposed and touched himself while his tongue was "lolling in his mouth" as he passed the woman on the banks of the Dodder in Ballsbridge.

The woman, who is in her 20s, told Dublin District Court she felt shocked and frightened as she passed the accused alone and was "100pc sure" what he was doing.

Curneen, with an address at Marfield Gardens, Johnstown Road, Cabinteely, is charged with indecency at Dodder Walk, Dublin 4, on a date in August, 2011.

He has pleaded not guilty to the offence and the alleged victim gave evidence at Dublin District Court today.

The woman told the court she was walking home at 5.30pm. She was wearing her work clothes and there was nobody else there except a male who was walking towards her.

She noticed he was wearing black trousers and a white hoodie top with the hood up.

"He got my attention because of the way he was walking," she said. "His hands were down around his pelvis region."

The man "wasn't walking with absolute purpose" and had a slow pace, she said. As they came towards each other, she kept to the left to give him room to pass.

She was "slightly wary" because of the expression on his face, which was "just very strange", and glanced at him as they passed. "At that point his expression was definitely strange, it was almost like his tongue was lolling in his mouth," she said. "His trousers were open, they weren't down. He had exposed himself, he was holding himself and stroking himself. He had turned around so that he was facing in the direction that I was walking.

"I was alarmed, obviously. I was initially shocked and then quite afraid. I wanted to move on as quickly as possible."

The woman said she quickened her pace and called the gardai in Irishtown Station. When gardai came, she gave a description and officers drove her around the area in a patrol car.

She saw a man leaning against a wall opposite Lansdowne Road Stadium who was wearing the same clothes as the man who had allegedly exposed himself to her.

The woman told the gardai that this man matched the description she had given and when they turned around and she saw him, and she told gardai, "that is the man I saw on the Dodder, I am sure".

Defence barrister Edel Gilligan said Curneen would say he was urinating at the Dodder when someone "surprised" him and he was "fixing himself", but he was not engaged in any sexual act at the time.

The case was due to continue before Judge Catherine Murphy this afternoon.

aphelan@herald.ie

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