Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Dad caught having sex at Irish police club to fight conviction

The father-of-two caught in the middle of a sex act with a woman in his car outside the Garda Boat Club is to appeal his convictions for indecency and public order offences.

James Connolly has confirmed he is to challenge a District Court judge's decision to find him guilty in a hearing last week.

Connolly (53) was found semi-naked in the back seat of his car with his then-girlfriend, as members of the force and their families used the club's gym nearby.

He became violent and hurled abuse at gardai as he was arrested, calling them "perverts" and accusing them of enjoying watching him.

Judge David McHugh found him guilty of public indecency, breach of the peace and obstruction, fining him €500 and binding him to the peace for two years.

Connolly has since confirmed to the Herald that he intends to appeal the conviction.

When asked when he was going to lodge his appeal, he replied: "Those matters are in the hands of my solicitor."

Connolly will have 14 days to lodge the appeal from the date of conviction, last Wednesday.

The accused, a married man from Rheban Avenue, Athy, Co Kildare, had denied all the charges, insisting he was fully clothed and that he had gone to the club to "entertain" his girlfriend, believing the location to be secluded.

His girlfriend, Margie Ferrer, was never charged on the direction of the DPP.

Judge David McHugh fined him €500 and bound him to the peace for two years.

Garda Graham O'Neill told Dublin District Court he was on patrol on December 11, 2008 at 9.50pm, when he became suspicious of activity inside Connolly's Nissan Primera,

"I could see Mr Connolly engaged in some sort of sexual act with the female", Gda O'Neill said. "I could clearly see he was naked from the waist down, there was no attempt to conceal this from the public".

When questioned, Connolly said "the gardai were perverts and paedophiles and that we got some sort of enjoyment from watching him in the rear of the car".

He then climbed into the driver's seat and turned on the engine. Gardai blocked his car with their patrol vehicle.

Connolly lashed out at the officers with his hands, resisted being handcuffed and had to be lifted into the patrol car, where he lay on his back and tried to kick out the window.

In evidence, the accused said when the garda arrived, Ms Ferrer was "mortified" and pulled her jumper up over her face.

"I said, 'can you please step back, gentlemen, so the woman can present herself?'"

He denied calling the gardai perverts and paedophiles and claimed he was not given all his medication. He said he 'tapped' the garda car window with his boot to alert the officers to this.

In Kilmainham Garda Station, he claimed, officers rifled through his photo identification in his wallet and said: "He looks like a 70s porn star".

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