A MAN who stood outside a hostel and exposed himself to a female member of staff in the early hours of ‘The Twelfth’ this year has been fined £250 at Ballymena Magistrates Court.
Joseph Forsythe (20), appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court via video link, and pleaded guilty to a charge that he intentionally exposed his genitals intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress.
A prosecutor said at 3am on July 12 police received a report a male “tapping on the windows” of a hostel in Larne.
Police attended and were told that Forsythe had been “peeking through the blinds” at staff.
Around 25 minutes later police arrived and located the defendant who was “very intoxicated” and “for his own safety” police returned him to his home address.
However, the PSNI were again contacted by staff at the hostel that Forsythe had walked away after their initial call to police but returned and stood with his back against a wall facing an office and staff had observed him expose himself and carry out a sexual act upon himself within their view.
The prosecutor said that had “caused alarm to a female staff member” and when CCTV footage was looked at it had captured the incident.
When arrested the defendant told police he was very drunk and on a scale of one to ten he was “twelve”.
A defence barrister said the behaviour had been “abhorrent”.
The lawyer said when Forsythe was shown the footage the defendant had been “completely appalled” that there had been “imagery of what he was doing in the early hours of the morning when he was so drunk he had difficulty standing”.
The barrister said given the pandemic there had not been, or should not have been, ‘Eleventh Night’ bonfires in the Larne area but there were still people out who had taken alcohol.
The lawyer said the incident happened in the early hours of July 12 and followed the Eleventh Night when the defendant had drunk a bottle of Buckfast and a “case of beer”.
The barrister added: “This is nothing of a sexual deviant, this is more of a chronically drunk individual”.
The lawyer said the incident had clearly been “particularly distressing” for the woman in the hostel but added: “I don’t think there were any underlying sexual tones that the court ought to be concerned about other than this was a very unpleasant incident”.
The barrister urged the judge not to put the defendant on the Sex Offenders Register saying “the stigma” of that could often “mar the life of an individual who already has had difficulties”.
The barrister said it was “not a matter of sexual deviancy” and the defendant “had no idea” what he had been doing and was unable to account for it to police but it was quite clear from the interview he was “thoroughly embarrassed and appalled at his own behaviour”.
The judge aid he was prepared to accept that there were “no sexual connotations to this offence and that it was very much down to drunkenness and a very poor judgment call made by the defendant”.
The defendant, with an address listed as Fairway in Larne, was fined £250.