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Man who performed sex act on himself and grabbed garda's bottom in M&S toilet is fined

The incident happened at Marks & Spencer, Mary Street in the city centre on June 16 last year, while garda surveillance was being carried out.
Andrew Phelan

A MAN has been fined €400 for performing a sex act on himself and grabbing an undercover garda’s bottom in the toilets at a Dublin shop.

“Something came over” Bruno Da Silva (31) when he exposed himself and carried out the lewd act in a Marks & Spencer bathroom, not realising who the officer was.

Judge Bryan Smyth imposed the fine after hearing a probation report on the accused was positive.

Da Silva, a married chef of Fort Ostman, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to engaging in an act of public masturbation and offensive behaviour of a sexual nature.

The incident happened at Marks & Spencer, Mary Street in the city centre on June 16 last year, while garda surveillance was being carried out.

After the probation report was handed in to court, defence solicitor Paddy McGarry asked Judge Smyth for leniency.

The judge said he regarded the case as a “serious matter” and that the court should proceed to conviction.

Previously, Garda Seamus Donoghue said a plainclothes garda went into the male bathrooms at the shop and when he turned around, the accused was behind him.

Da Silva had produced his penis and was masturbating in front of the garda, the court heard. As the garda walked by him, the accused was still masturbating and “grabbed the bottom of the plainclothes garda,” Gda Donoghue said.

The garda produced his ID and there was also a second garda in the toilets. The accused stopped what he was doing and covered himself up.

He was cooperative with the investigation, apologised and gave a voluntary cautioned statement admitting everything.

Mr McGarry said his client had been having a very bad time during the pandemic and had been to therapy.

“He was in Marks & Spencer and something came over him,” Mr McGarry said.

He “didn’t mean to distress anyone” but “got confused and read the signals wrong.”

Although they were toilets for the public there was a “certain element of privacy,” in the location, he said.

Da Silva came to Ireland from Brazil four years ago and worked as a chef most of the time but had been a general operative during the pandemic.

The court had heard his engagement with the probation service had an impact on improving his insight into the offences.


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