Inch Island man accused of 'playing with himself' on bus to Derry
A bus passenger was caught on camera performing a sex act while looking at a woman on board for up to 40 minutes, the High Court heard today.
Patrick Porter exposed himself as he travelled from Monaghan to Derry earlier this year, prosecutors said.
The 38-year-old Co Donegal man was arrested after he was challenged by the victim and initially denied doing anything wrong.
He faces charges of intentionally exposing his genitals and committing an act outraging public decency.
With Porter now said to have made admissions, his application for bail was adjourned to allow a psychiatric report on any future risks to the public.
The defendant, from Grange on Inch Island, allegedly started masturbating in view of other passengers on the Bus Eireann service on June 22.
Conor Gillespie, prosecuting, said when challenged by a woman sitting nearby he claimed to be doing nothing wrong but covered himself up.
He was detained after the bus arrived at the Foyle Street depot in Derry but released until recordings were obtained.
"The CCTV footage runs from 8.40am to 9.20am and shows the applicant at various stages exposing himself and masturbating with his trousers round his ankles and clearly shows him looking at the victim," Mr Gillespie told the court.
When the recording was later played to Porter he claimed to have no memory of his actions because he had been on a vodka drinking binge.
Opposing bail, the prosecution referred to a similar incident in a car at Magee College in the city three years ago.
Defence counsel said Porter admits being guilty of some offence, but questioned whether it amounted to the outraging public decency charge.
"It's a matter caught on camera and he accepts his culpability," the barrister said.
Disputing claims that his client may re-offend, he stressed that nothing has happened since the June incident.
"Whatever problems he has... he's not committing offences on a day-in, day-out basis," he added.
But adjourning the bail application, Mr Justice Maguire insisted that he wanted to see a psychiatric report.
The judge said: "I have to make a decision on whether this man is a risk to the public, in particular female members of the public.
"Whatever is driving him along must be something which defies rationality."
Belfast Telegraph Digital