Pure filth | 

Sleazy street cleaner followed teenage boy while quizzing him about sexual details

Taking out the trash: Martin O'Hagan

Taking out the trash: Martin O'Hagan

Steven Moore and Paul Higgins

A street cleaner who quizzed a young teenager about sex and condoms has been convicted of sexual communication with a child.

Martin O’Hagan from Byrnes Rampart in Lurgan followed the 14-year-old boy for a considerable distance asking intimate details about sex.

The victim’s father told the Sunday World he was “furious” that O’Hagan had forced his son to go into the witness box to give evidence against him.

But he said he was “extremely proud” of how his son, now 16, had acquitted himself in court.

“O’Hagan is pure dirt as far as I’m concerned,” said the father.

“He told lies in court trying to say he hadn’t said half the things he did and he made out my son and my wife were liars.

“I was delighted he will have to sign the sex offenders register because he put my son through hell – first when he did what he did and secondly by putting him through the stress of having to give evidence in court.

“We are over the moon and extremely proud of our son.”


Convicting O’Hagan at Craigavon Magistrates Court, sitting in Lisburn, District Judge Rosie Watters said “I don’t think there’s any doubt” that the 60-year-old asked intimate and personal questions of the child in the street.

Having heard that O’Hagan asked the boy if he had a girlfriend, if he had had sex and if he knew how to put a condom on, the judge said it was “not appropriate to ask any teenager that, not when you are in your 60s.”

“If you are 14 and with another 14-year-old you might ask that but not as a person who could be his grandfather,” said the judge, adding: “I think it’s completely inappropriate – you wouldn’t ask me about my sex life and you don’t ask a child about their sex life.”

During the 45-minute contest on Wednesday, the court heard that O’Hagan was working as a street cleaner in Portadown when he approached the boy.

Giving evidence, the teenager described how he was on his way home from work when O’Hagan started to talk to him, beginning by asking him how old he was.

The teenager told the prosecuting lawyer, however, that after he told O’Hagan he was 14, “he asked me did I have a girlfriend or do I have a problem getting one.

“I just kept on walking and he kept walking beside me,” said the boy, describing how the situation made him “uncomfortable”.

“He asked have I had sex and I was walking quicker and quickly and he kept on beside me.”

When asked by the lawyer if O’Hagan had said anything else, the boy replied: “Do I know how to put a condom on,” adding that he felt “scared” by the conversation as O’Hagan followed him to his house.

Once inside, the boy told his mum what had happened and she gave evidence that her son appeared “nervous and agitated” and he recounted the incident to her.

Bail: O’Hagan leaving Lisburn Court

Bail: O’Hagan leaving Lisburn Court

She told the court she grabbed her shoes and went out to confront O’Hagan, telling him he had “picked the wrong child to talk dirty to”.

She said O’Hagan said “I’m sorry” on a number of occasions, claiming he had recently suffered a “breakdown” and didn’t feel well, outlining how she thought “he was going to have a heart attack” so she called an ambulance and the police.

Giving evidence on his own behalf, O’Hagan told defence counsel Conor Lunny he believed the boy was “about 17 or 18” so when he said he had a girlfriend, “I just said be careful and make sure that you use protection”.

The judge interjected, however, asking O’Hagan “why feel the need to mention being careful and using protection – it doesn’t matter what age he is but why would you say that to a young boy?” O’Hagan denied that he knew the boy’s age or that he followed him towards his home but convicting him of sexually communicating with a child “for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification,” the judge said she believed the boy.

Freeing O’Hagan on bail pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report, DJ Watters ordered him to sign the police sex offenders register and adjourned passing sentence until November 18.

The victim’s father said the incident had taken its toll on his son.

“This happened a year-and-a-half ago so it’s been very stressful for him,” said the dad.

“He has had sleepless nights and has needed to see a counsellor. I think O’Hagan hoped he wouldn’t go through with the case but he was never going to pull out because he wanted to make sure others were protected in the future.”

O’Hagan resigned from the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council last month.

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