Man coming from stag party groped female garda between the legs

CourtsBy Shuki Byrne
The court heard that McPhillips forcefully grabbed the female garda between the legs
The court heard that McPhillips forcefully grabbed the female garda between the legs

A man who was on a stag party groped a female gardai between the legs as she was speaking to a bus driver regarding an incident.

The on-duty, uniformed member of An Garda Siochana was investigating reports individuals had interfered with a council truck and signage when the incident occurred, the Leitrem Observer reported.

She received a report that a white bus had pulled up at Kiltubrid GAA pitch and men who exited the vehicle had been engaged in anti-social behaviour. 

Speaking to the driver of the bus, John Nally, at Ardrum, Ballinamore, she was assured the men were only messing and the signs be put back.

As they were talking Padraig McPhillips (44), of Cornswao, Smithboro, Monaghan, stepped up behind her and grabbed her forcefully from behind and groped her inner passage and squeezed, a court heard. His friends pulled him from the bus and he apologised to the officer, Carrick-on-Shannon District Court was told. 

The gardai, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she was extremely upset and the gravity of the incident only hit her on the way home that night. 

She said she attended the doctor, who informed her she was actually pregnant at the time. This, the court heard, had an unsettling effect on her. 

Her solicitor described the incident as a "very disrespectful and nasty thing to do". 

In January, Mr McPhillips made a statement to gardai which expressed his remorse for the incident. He said he had had no sleep, was drinking all day and was also drinking cans on the bus. 

He said he knew it was inappropriate and apologised: "I know she was doing her job, it was stupid of me". Mr McPhillips said he had previously attended a treatment centre for alcohol abuse. 

He had previous convictions, the court heard, and was convicted of being drunk and in charge of a vehicle. 

Judge Kilrane said his actions were "nothing short of blackguardism", but said there were a number of blackguards on the bus. 

He said the fact that he assaulted an officer of the State while she was on duty was an assault on the law itself. 

He added: The fact that it's a sexual assault makes it worse and puts it into a much more serious category. 

A fine was imposed and the judge said the question of the Sex Offenders' Register was to be taken into account at a later date. 

He fiend McPhillips €1,000 for the offence and remanded him on bail until later this month. 

With reporting from Donal O'Grady