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sex assault charge Mother confronted pensioner after son (12) said he had touched him in toilets, court hears

The boy said the pensioner stood in front of the toilet door and touched him on the outside of his clothes in his private area


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A mother confronted a pensioner moments after her 12-year-old son told her that the man had touched him in the toilets at Dunnes Stores in Ennis, a court has heard.

At Ennis Circuit Court today, a recording of the boy talking to a specialist Garda interviewer was played to the jury. In it the boy said the now 74-year-old man touched him in his private or crotch area in the toilets at the Dunnes Stores Mall in Ennis sometime after 3pm on August 25, 2018.

The boy and his mother had gone to Dunnes Stores on the Saturday afternoon to do some shopping and the boy’s mother waited for her son as he went to use the toilet.

The boy told a specialist garda interviewer six days after the alleged incident that the pensioner told him “you’ve a nice package” and they were the only two people in the toilet at the time.

The boy said the pensioner stood in front of the toilet door and touched him on the outside of his clothes in his private area.

The accused man denies the charge of sexual assault of the boy at the toilets in Dunnes Stores in Ennis on August 25, 2018.

Asked by the specialist garda interviewer how he felt, the boy replied: "I felt confused at what was happening, I felt anxious and scared. It made you feel like the loneliest person on the planet.”

The boy said: "I had a fear that he was going to go further and pin me down.”

He said that after the incident “I felt that my skin had turned ash white and I was sweating”.

The boy said that after leaving the toilets, he went to his mother and told her that a man had touched him while he was in the toilets.

“I told her that a man was staring at me and he touched me.”

The boy described to his mother that the man was plump and heavy and had white hair.

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He said his mother asked him to point the man out and after seeing the man exit the toilets, the boy’s mother approached the man.

The boy told the specialist garda interviewer: “My mother confronted him and asked the man did he touch my genitals and he denied that.”

The boy said that the man told his mother "I didn’t touch him in any way and I have never seen him before in my life.”

The boy said he was crying in the mall after the alleged incident.

Asked why he was crying, the boy replied: "Because I was scared, confused. I asked myself how did this happen? How is this possible? Should I have defended myself?”

Counsel for the accused, Brian McInerney SC said to the boy that he is wrong about what happened in the toilet.

Mr McInerney said his client did nothing to him and said nothing to him “and didn’t touch you in any way whatsoever”.

CCTV evidence was shown to the jury which showed the accused man enter and exit the toilets three times between 3pm and 3.45pm on the day in question.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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