A man with a litany of previous sex charges has appeared in court after pleading guilty to carrying out lewd sex acts in public including masturbating in the car park of McDonalds in Letterkenny.
The man, who is in his 40s, appeared before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal charged with masturbating and exposing himself.
He cannot be named after Judge Raymond Finnegan issued a publication order in the case but no reason was given for this.
The court was told the accused was spotted by a walker in a car in the Aileach Road area of Buncrana on May 11th 2017.
The witness said that the man had no underwear on and was masturbating.
When Gardai arrived they also found he was over the drink-driving limit.
He was also caught carrying our another lewd act while sitting in a Volkswagen Caddy van in the car park of McDonalds fast-food outlet in Letterkenny on March 28th this year.
Garda Sgt Jim Collins said a female who was passing his car noticed what he was at and reported it to Gardai.
He made full admissions to his behaviour when Gardai arrived.
He also told Gardai he was homeless and living in the van.
His solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client suffered from a very deep depression and was in a very dark place for a number of years.
He said the man is now working again and that his “cards have been marked.”
Mr Gallagher added that during Covid and other times, his client found himself with a lot of times on his hands and engaged in this type of behaviour.
Indeed he had been advised to leave the area by certain people, added his solicitor.
However he now has structure in his life and is undergoing rehabilitation.
His solicitor said he was asking the court not to impose a custodial sentence as it would have an effect on his rehabilitation.
Judge Raymond Finnegan asked if the man had any previous convictions and Sgt Collins said he had a number for similar offences.
Judge Finnegan fined him €200 and disqualified him from driving for three years for drink driving and also sentenced him to five months in prison which he suspended.
He told the accused that he was a very lucky man that he was not going to prison.