herald

Thursday 26 April 2018

Man followed girl (12) into clothes shop and touched her bottom

Donnavan Staddon received a suspended sentence for assault
Donnavan Staddon received a suspended sentence for assault

A man has received a suspended prison sentence after he followed a young girl into a children's clothes shop and touched her bottom.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that after Donnavan Staddon (39) assaulted the 12-year-old, he went over to her friend and invited her to the cinema.

Gda Sgt Brian Jenning told the court that CCTV footage showed Staddon entering H&M in Dundrum Town Centre behind the two 12-year-olds.

The girls went downstairs into the children's clothes section and Staddon followed them.

The victim told gardai that a man had glided his hand across her behind while walking by her.

Staddon then walked over to the other girl, who was standing elsewhere in the shop, and asked her for directions to the cinema.

She alleged that he then asked her if she wanted to go to the cinema.

The girl walked back to her friend who told her of the assault.

Staff were notified and gardai stopped Staddon in the shopping centre and questioned him.

He said he thought the second girl was aged around 17 and denied inviting her to the cinema.

He said he had been to the same cinema before but with his partner and that he had become lost this time.

Staddon, of Elm Park, Donnybrook, Dublin, pleaded guilty last November to assault on June 21, 2014.

He was due to face trial for the offence.

Yesterday Judge Terence O'Sullivan said the case was a troubling one as Staddon sought the incident out and followed the girls.

He asked what business Staddon had in the children's clothes section and said the assault had had an effect on the girl.

He imposed a €500 fine and suspended a one-month prison sentence on condition that Staddon kept the peace for three months.

The maximum custodial penalty for assault is six months.

Gda Jenning told the court that the victim became upset when she heard last August that there would be a trial.

In a victim impact statement, she said her mother became stricter after the assault.

Resigned

The girl told the court that she did not want Staddon to go to prison.

Staddon had no previous convictions and previously worked as a security guard.

His wife, Dr Anita Staddon, told the court that they had a child in 2015 and he resigned from his job to support her in her career.

She said the full-time father was a good husband.

Dr Staddon said she did not in any way condone his behaviour and told the court that it was wrong.

She said her husband did not recall having deliberate contact with the girl.

Counsel for Staddon said he apologised to the victim and her parents.

Judge O'Sullivan said he could accept that Staddon was a supportive husband and father.

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