A man who told a garda that he gets a thrill watching women going to the toilet left a woman feeling “humiliated and degraded” after she caught him spying on her in a bathroom in a Galway hotel, Galway District Court has heard.
Vincent Moran (59), of Riveroaks, Claregalway, pleaded guilty this week to intentionally engaging in offensive conduct of a sexual nature in a public place at the Ardilaun Hotel, Salthill on February 16th, 2019.
The court heard this was Moran’s second appearance before the court for a similar offence. He was previously given the benefit the Probation Act for spying on a woman using a toilet in a retail outlet in 2005.
The victim of the 2019 offence broke down as she recounted the incident to Judge Marie Keane.
“I’ve been left feeling humiliated and degraded by what happened to me,” she said.
She said she was attending a wedding and went into a cubicle in the women’s toilet at around 11.30pm. She noticed a hole in the wall adjoining the next cubicle and put some toilet paper into it. However, it then popped out and she could see an eye staring back at her through the hole.
The woman left the cubicle and saw a pair of men’s shoes when she looked under the door of the other cubicle. She left and told her partner what had happened. The court heard Moran left the toilet and got into a taxi outside the hotel, but the woman’s partner took a photo of him before he departed.
Sgt Kieran Duignan said Moran was tracked down and admitted going into women’s bathroom “for the thrill of watching women going to the toilet”.
Brian Gilmartin, Moran’s solicitor, told the woman his client wanted to apologise. He said a psychological report suggested there are “risk factors present to place my client in the medium to high risk category for further offending”.
Mr Gilmartin said the report states that Moran suffers from “chronic feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem” and was willing to get treatment.
Judge Keane said this was the second time Moran had been apprehended for such an offence. He was given an opportunity to receive counselling in 2006 but he did not follow through, she said. “So, how can I possibly have any confidence that he is going to engage in rehabilitation now?”
Imposing a four-month sentence, Judge Keane said she had a duty to protect the public. Leave to appeal the sentence was granted on Moran’s own surety of €100 and an independent surety of €200. The bail money was paid into court and Moran walked free to await an appeal hearing at the Circuit Court.