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27 Sept 2022

County Derry man exposed genitals to neighbour

The 53-year-old has been handed a suspended sentence.

County Derry man exposed genitals to neighbour

Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

A 53-year-old Moneymore man exposed his genitals to a female neighbour twice within nine days last year, a court has heard.

Trevor Mitchell, of Carndaisy Road, Moneymore, appeared for sentencing via video link at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday having already pleaded guilty to two charges of exposure.

Judge Mullan raised concerns that the defendant was to be present behind a screen, but proceeded, noting that the injured party's parents had attended court for his sentencing.

The court heard that on April 30 2021, police had received a report that a man had appeared in his neighbour's driveway while she was attempting to leave in the car.

He exposed his genitals to her and glared at her for approximately five seconds before the injured party was able to drive away on April 21.

A second offence had been committed that day – April 30 – when the injured party heard something behind her when she was in the driveway.

She looked around and saw the defendant standing at the gate, exposing his genitals again. The injured party's father was present and shouted 'what are you doing?' at Mitchell.

The defendant replied: “It's alright, it's alright,” before waving and walking away.

During interview, the defendant gave no comment and offered no explanation for his behaviour, but confirmed he knew the victim and said there had been no falling out or issues during their time as neighbours.

Prosecution noted that the injured party had provided a victim impact statement to the court detailing how the incident had affected her.

Defence for Mitchell said it was 'totally bizarre' that a 53-year-old man with no record would come before the court for an offence of this nature.

They said the defendant knew his behaviour was wrong but noted there had been no contact with the injured party and that no 'additional activities' had been reported during the incidents.

Counsel said Mitchell led a 'solitary existence', that he was unmarried, farmed his family's land full-time and that he had offered an apology in the pre-sentence report.

Judge Mullan said the behaviour was 'concerning' given there were two incidents just nine days apart, and said the pre-sentence report indicated the defendant was 'burying his head in the sand'.

She noted the report said the defendant's sister was aware of the behaviour but that he 'didn't want to talk about it'.

She said there was an element of victim-blaming in his pre-sentence report, which she described as 'reprehensible' and she was not convinced he would engage meaningfully with probation.

Judge Mullan imposed a period of six months' custody on the defendant, suspended for a period of three years.

She also ordered Mitchell to be subject to a restraining order preventing any contact with the injured party.

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