Man in van who masturbated while following Kildare woman has serious mental health issues

Victim says she is 'on edge' and dresses more conservatively

Leinster Leader Reporter

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Man in van who masturbated while following Kildare woman has serious mental health issues

The case was heard at Naas District Court yesterday

A psychological report on a man who has pleaded guilty at a previous court sitting to following a woman in his van and masturbating while doing so, has found that he has a serious mental health problems, and intellectual disability and has expressed suicidal ideation, but that he is at a low risk of re-offending.

It also recommended that he remain in the supervision of the Probation Service.

The man, 24 year old Wayne McDonagh, had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour in Newbridge in April 2017. Mr McDonagh, with an address at Church Hill, Tullamore, Co Offaly, had admitted to masturbating in front of and annoying a 21- year-old woman in the early hours of April 26, 2016.

Garda Sgt Jim Kelly said that there was a report from “a very distressed young woman”. She had just left a premises around 10.10pm on the evening when the defendant drove along beside her as she was on the path, masturbating. The defendant and the woman were not known to each other.

Judge Desmond Zaidan had adjourned the case and ordered that a psychological report and offered the young woman the opportunity to completed a Victim Impact Statement.

The statement was read out in court last Wednesday by Judge Zaidan. In it, the woman revealed that she remains constantly “on edge” and that while she used to love getting dressed up, she now dresses more conservatively. In her statement she said that her approach to men looking at her has changed and that she made sure to stay in busy places when out in public. 

The court heard that the man is a member of the Travelling Community and married young. He and his wife have three young children. He does not work, and is not able to read or write.

At the time of the offence he was abusing alcohol and cocaine, Mr Kennelly explained. Referencing the psychological report on the defendant, he said that he was at a low risk of reoffending. The report’s author also concluded that Mr McDonagh had an intellectual disability.

Mr McDonagh and his wife have only recently been offered a new chance, with a house, Mr Kennelly explained.

He added that the man’s wife has had a lot to deal with, most particularly the strong negative reaction from their own community. Mr Kennelly said that the defendant was more than willing to remain engaged with the Probation Service.

Judge Desmond Zaidan instructed that the man remain alcohol and drug free, that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service, that he engage with adult education services, that he enter into a 12 month Probation Bond.

He also fined the defendant €1,000.