Repeat offender | 

Serial sex offender Barry Watters freed after latest sentence for exposing himself to kids

Repeat offender blames the media for having him 'exiled' from his home town

Barry Watters without his mask.

Eamon Dillon

Serial sex offender Barry Watters is back on the streets this week, walking free from prison after serving his latest sentence for exposing himself to kids.

Watters, who previously complained about being "hounded" by the media, was picked up from the Midlands Prison by a couple this week and driven away.

Sporting a baseball cap and face mask as he carried his bags to the car, Watters is free sooner than originally expected after he won an appeal to cut his sentences in 2019.

He had been jailed for exposing himself to school kids and a further two years for possessing explicit sexual images of children.

Barry Watters, serial sex offender, is released from Midlands Prison.

But the total of six-years' imprisonment imposed in December 2018 was reduced by appeal court judges to four years and two months.

It means Watters, whose repeated and consistent offending has made him one of Ireland's most notorious offenders, is now back on the streets.

The Dundalk native previously complained in court he had been forced to leave his home after his sordid past was revealed in newspapers.

Watters, pleaded guilty to public indecency when he exposed himself to a number of children on their way to school in Dublin.

Judge Martina Baxter handed down the sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after Watters pleaded guilty to two counts of indecency at a location in the city in December 2014, and a separate count of possession of child pornography in 2016.

She noted Watters, who has been repeatedly convicted in the past of having child pornography "seems to be taking a step further, coming out from behind the computer screen".

He had displayed "brazen exhibitionism" and was "targeting the most vulnerable people in society - children," Judge Baxter said.

The court heard evidence how at 8.45am a youth worker noticed a man walking up the street "with his penis exposed as he walked".

Barry Watters is picked up outside the MIdlands Prison.

He looked her in the face as he walked by and she was shocked. There were children around and he walked into a group of girls, with his penis still exposed.

An 11-year-old girl who was walking alone and looking down described looking up and seeing Watters facing her, holding his penis and she "got a fright".

A nine-year-old victim also described how he walked past with his penis exposed after which she ran and told a lollipop lady what happened.

On another day two children were walking to school when they saw Watters walking on the footpath with his genitalia exposed.

A 10-year-old girl described how his "thing" rubbed off the top of her arm as he passed her, although she did not know if he meant it or not.

She got a fright and ran to a nearby shop and then to the school and reported it.

She said the accused had been close to her and she started to walk around him but he moved too. The girl's friend gave a similar account.

Judge Baxter said Watters' presence in the area on the two occasions "wasn't an accident".

He was caught when a garda spotted him entering an internet cafe and were able to remotely monitor what he was viewing on the computer.

At one court hearing it was heard Watters had never come to Garda attention until the age of 32, and his life had gone "progressively off the rails" after 2008, when he was given a fully suspended two-and-a-half year sentence for possession of "child pornography", which was later reactivated.

In 2012, Watters received a four-year sentence with the final year suspended on strict conditions after he was caught repeatedly with child pornography.

Watters had also been made homeless a number of times after the media drew attention to where he was living, it was said.

He had effectively been "exiled" from his hometown of Dundalk and is "on a circuit of hostels, and shelters, hounded by the media".

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