A 59-year-old Cork man who made a sexual proposition to a schoolgirl on her way to school was given a suspended jail term after complying with all directions of the probation service for the past year.
Judge Olann Kelleher said in the course of sentencing Anthony Harris at Cork District Court to a nine-month suspended prison term: “I find the Probation Service are excellent in these matters, particularly where someone has no previous convictions, in terms of education of the accused, which is of benefit to society.
“The young girl was very upset by what happened. I accept that all the things she alleged were said on the day. It would normally merit a custodial sentence. But my view was that it would be of benefit to society if you attended various courses instructed by the Probation Service and you have completed that now. You have shown victim empathy.
“You understand your behaviour was inappropriate and harmful. You have fully cooperated with the Probation Service.
This is a very serious charge, as you are aware. You are 59 years old and have no previous convictions. You have some cognitive difficulties and have complied with all directions. I am going to take into consideration the recommendation of the Probation Service that he would continue to submit to any of their directions in the next two years.”
Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said when sentencing was adjourned for one year for the accused to avail of the educational courses directed by the Probation Service, he took the opportunity given to him.
Anthony Harris, of Orrer