'terrified' | 

Dublin hotel worker pleads guilty after asking young colleague to 'taste' his penis

Conor Price was being shown around the building by a colleague when he lewdly propositioned her in a linen room

Conor Price

Conor Price© Collins Dublin, Garrett White

Andrew PhelanSunday World

A new worker at a Dublin hotel was being shown around the building by a young colleague when he lewdly propositioned her in a linen room, leaving her “terrified.”

Conor Price stood in front of the door and repeatedly asked the distressed 18-year-old if she wanted to “taste it”.

Price, who had mental health problems, mistakenly believed that staff in the hotel were engaging in sexual activity at the time.

He later suffered a breakdown and was diagnosed with psychosis, his defence said.

Price, now aged 27, of Moorfield Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty to offensive conduct of a sexual nature by asking a woman if she wanted to 'taste' his penis.

Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned the case for supporting medical evidence and further mitigation.

Garda Damien McGee told Dublin District Court the incident happened in a hotel in the city on a date in September 2021.

The victim was more senior to the accused who had just started work in the hotel days earlier, she said.

She was showing Price around the hotel when he asked her to show him the linen room at the back of the building.

When she brought him there, Price closed the door, stood in front of it and “asked the injured party did she want to taste it.”

She said no and “the question was asked a few times.” Each time she said no, then she pushed past Price and left the room, going to the main body of the hotel.

“He followed her back into the hotel,” Gda McGee said. “Neither party talked to each other or worked with each other after that.”

Price had no prior convictions.

Conor Price© Collins Dublin, Garrett White

“It had quite a traumatising effect on me, as I had to move completely to a different hotel because I couldn’t stand to be in that area” the victim told the court.

She was taken away from training staff because of the incident.

“I was wary with any male staff I had to work with, I just don’t trust at all, I’m terrified” she said.

At the time of the incident, Price “believed there was sexual activity going on between staff members in the hotel,” his barrister said.

This was mistaken and came from the psychosis with which he was subsequently diagnosed.

“His understanding of what was happening at the time was extremely impaired,” the lawyer said.

He had “some sort of breakdown” and was now taking medication.

His family took the incident very seriously and members were in court supporting him in his difficulties.

Price had dropped out of a counselling and psychotherapy course in college due to his own deteriorating mental health. He did a culinary course and was now training as a chef in a restaurant.

Price accepted it was an “awful offence” and there was “no hiding” from the facts but it was an isolated incident, the barrister said.

Judge Smyth said it was a traumatic experience for the victim and it was a “terrible thing” that she had to leave the hotel and no longer trusted male colleagues.

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