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Man caught spying on woman using toilet in Dublin city centre Burger King is fined

Joseph Locke (36) peered over the top of the cubicle in Burger King on O’Connell Street

Joseph Locke© Collins Courts

Joseph Locke© Collins Courts

Andrew Phelan

A man caught peeping at a woman as she used the toilets in a city centre fast food restaurant has been fined for offensive behaviour.

Joseph Locke (36) went into a cubicle in the female toilets at a Burger King and peered over the top at the victim in the next stall.

A court heard Locke had a history of alcoholism and had lapsed on the day when he found out who his biological father was, and that he was dead.

Judge Bryan Smyth fined him €200 at Dublin District Court.

Locke, from Myra Close, Emmet Road, Inchicore, pleaded guilty to offensive conduct of a sexual nature.

Garda Sergeant Maire McDevitt said gardai were called to Burger King on O’Connell Street Lower on September 14 last year.

It was reported that the accused had entered a cubicle in the female toilets and “interacted” with a woman using another cubicle at the same time.

When they spoke to him, Locke told the gardai he did enter the toilets but did not know they were the female toilets.

The victim said Locke had peered over into her cubicle, and CCTV showed him entering the toilets.

The accused had previous public order offences, but none for a similar charge.

Joseph Locke© Collins Courts

Locke’s prior convictions were drink-related, his barrister Kevin McCrave said. He had suffered from alcoholism for years and been “effectively intoxicant free” for nine months, but on the day of the offence, he lapsed and had a "slip."

That day, he found out who his biological father was, and that he had died two years earlier.

“He had taken a drink and ended up doing what he did,” Mr McCrave said.

Locke, who was supported in court by his sister, was described as having “severe intellectual difficulties.”

Mr McCrave asked the court for leniency and to take account of the accused’s guilty plea.

“He’s not somebody who presents with a history of this type of offending,” the barrister added.

Judge Smyth said he would take all this into consideration.

“It wasn’t a very pleasant experience for the lady in the adjoining cubicle,” the judge said. “I appreciate the defendant has some issues that he’s been dealing with.”

He gave him five months to pay the fine.

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