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Thursday 18 October 2018

Jail for wheelchair user who groped schoolgirl on bus

James Callaghan was helped on to the bus by his victim. Photo: Justin Farrelly
James Callaghan was helped on to the bus by his victim. Photo: Justin Farrelly

A wheelchair user who sexually assaulted and exposed himself to a schoolgirl on a Dublin bus has been jailed for five months.

James Callaghan (54) told the girl (18) that she was "gorgeous" before touching her hip and trying to pull her towards him while his penis was out.

The victim said she felt "violated" after the assault.

Callaghan, of Decies Road, Ballyfermot, was found guilty after a trial of sexually assaulting the girl on a bus in west Dublin on February 1, 2016.

The case was before Judge David McHugh for sentencing at Blanchardstown District Court after he had ordered a probation report.

Defence lawyer Jennifer Jackson said Callaghan suff-ered a brain injury in a road crash when he was 31.

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Ms Jackson said Callaghan would benefit from working with the probation service so he could receive treatment and ensure similar behaviour did not happen again.

Judge McHugh proposed adjourning the case for a year to allow Callaghan to work with the probation service, but the defendant said he would prefer to be sentenced immediately.

Imposing a five-month sentence, the judge also ordered that he be put on the sex offenders' register.

The victim told the court that she helped Callaghan on to the bus and sat beside him at his request.

He told her she was gorgeous, and moved closer to her be- fore putting his hand on her hip.

She tried to "scoot away", but noticed his hand was going "down on to my arse".

The teenager then saw that he was "messing with himself".

"I noticed his d**k was out and at that stage I got frightened," she said.

She jumped up in alarm and told the driver to let her off the bus.

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