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Armagh man smacked young girl on bottom and asked her when she had last shaved

Defendant agreed to sexual offences prevention order after admitting two charges

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who slapped the bottom of a teenage girl has been handed a suspended sentence.

A judge told the 60-year-old: “All of this was towards a much, much, much younger girl, you should never have put yourself in the position that a police complaint had to be made.”

Eugene Paul Geraghty, 60, of Mellifont Park, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault at the City’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

It was heard the offences occurred in 2017.

The defendant touched the female on the T-shirt and smacked her on the bottom, according to the prosecution.

He had also made comments asking the young girl when she had last shaved.

Court was also told Geraghty touched the injured party on the hips.

When shown the footage, the defendant maintained this had been done to comfort the young girl who had made derogatory statements about her appearance.

Geraghty claimed that the injured party had spoken to him in inappropriate ways and that he would never touch her in the ways described, as he knew her age.

Addressing the shaving comment, the defendant claimed the injured party had brought up the conversation.

In a conversation with defendant she said she and a friend had talked about using a hair removal cream.

He claimed the injured party told him that she shaved her lower area.

Prosecution stated that the injured party also claimed that Geraghty had collected a jar containing one pound coins.

She alleged that the defendant had told her if she could guess the amount in the jar she could keep it but if she was wrong she would have to take her top off.

Court heard that Geraghty denied this, claiming this incident did not happen.

Defence barrister Paddy Taggart stated that the defendant agreed to a SOPO (sexual offences prevention order) which had been put forward by the prosecution.

He said: “These were offences of inappropriate behaviour, the pre-sentence report found that Mr Gergahty has a medium risk of reoffending, but given that he is 60 I highly doubt he will be before a court again.”

Mr Taggart commented that given the nature of these assaults no significant injury had been suffered.

Deputy District Judge Peter King stated: “These are two common assaults which are characterised as being inappropriate. There was always a risk that behaviour like this could be determined as being sexual.

“All of this was towards a much, much, much younger girl, you should never have put yourself in the position that a police complaint had to be made.”

Geraghty was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years.

He was also told he would be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the next five years.

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