Man spared jail over lewd act in Marks & Spencer toilet

Seven others charged with same offence at the department store on dates in June

Gustavo Viturino, 32, appeared at Dublin District Court where he pleaded guilty to public masturbation at Marks & Spencer on Mary Street on June 14th last. File photograph: Collins Courts

Gustavo Viturino, 32, appeared at Dublin District Court where he pleaded guilty to public masturbation at Marks & Spencer on Mary Street on June 14th last. File photograph: Collins Courts

 

A student has been spared jail for masturbating in front of a garda in a Dublin city-centre department store toilet which men used for public sex acts.

Tech worker Gustavo Viturino, 32, appeared at Dublin District Court where he pleaded guilty to public masturbation at Marks & Spencer on Mary Street on June 14th last.

Seven men have been charged with the same offence at the department store on dates in June.

Viturino, a Brazilian national who has an address at Chancery Hall, Blackhall Place, in central Dublin, was convicted and fined €400.

Pleading for leniency, defence solicitor Paddy McGarry said a probation report detailed how Viturino was at low risk of re-offending.

He had been affected by the publicity the case received in the media. He is caring for his mother and is also studying for a degree in law.

A criminal conviction would affect his visa, the solicitor said. His client had no excuse for the offence. However, he was “thankful to the garda for taking him out of the situation” regarding what was happening in the toilets.

Judge Smyth said a teenage boy could have walked into the toilets. He recorded a conviction and a fine.

Earlier, Garda James Smith said the accused “made no reply to charge”. He told the court that he and another plainclothes garda witnessed Viturino masturbating in the toilet.

He agreed with the defence solicitor that Marks & Spencer had received reports that this had been going on for several months.

Staff tried to stop it, but gardaí had to become involved, the solicitor said.

Tech firm worker Viturino, who has lived in Ireland for 10 years, had no prior criminal convictions.

Mr McGarry had said it had become known among a small group of the gay community as a venue to engage in sexual activities.

Viturino did not go there specifically to do this but was aware it was going on. He tried to communicate with a male in the toilet.

Mr McGarry said such cases often have more aggravating factors, such as occurring in public locations. He submitted that this case was not on the same level; it involved consenting individuals engaging in consensual sexual activities.