A YOUNG man who followed a group of women down a Dublin city centre street while "interfering with himself" was caught by gardai on CCTV, a court heard.
Robert Horvath (24) was seen running to catch up with the women before walking close behind, opening his trousers and touching himself.
Dublin District Court was told the women did not see what he was doing, but gardai spotted him on CCTV monitors.
Judge Bryan Smyth ordered a probation report after hearing that Horvath had been smoking cannabis and drinking on the night and could not remember why he did what he did.
Horvath, of Larkhill Road, Whitehall, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour. He also admitted having cannabis on him after he was arrested.
The incident happened in Talbot Street last June 26.
A garda witness said the accused was seen running down the street to catch up with three women.
It was 4am and they were the only people on the street.
"He undid the buttons on his trousers, took out his penis and interfered with himself," the garda said.
"He followed the three women down Talbot Street while still interfering with himself."
The accused was stopped and arrested. While in custody at a garda station, he was found in possession of a small amount of cannabis herb.
Horvath had no previous convictions of any kind to his name.
Questioned by defence solicitor Peter Keatings, the garda agreed that at no point did the women see what Horvath was doing.
"They were aware of his presence but did not see him engaging in any act," the garda said. "He was approximately one metre behind them.
Mr Keatings added: "At no point did they seem to be in any peril, or notice anything going on, or did any shock register because it wasn't known to them."
He said the accused accepted he had been reckless as to whether a breach of the peace would be caused.
Horvath's family was from Hungary but he had been in Ireland since he was a child. Around the time of the incident, his aunt had died and this had an effect on him because she was a "stable force" in his life.
He had fallen into a pattern of drinking and smoking cannabis.
"It caused him not to remember why he was doing what he was doing," Mr Keatings said.
Judge Smyth adjourned the case for four weeks for a probation report, including a community service suitability assessment.