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Man is fined for stealing women's clothes for "sexual gratification"

Defendant gained access to neighbour's flat

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Man is fined for stealing women's clothes for "sexual gratification"

Donegal District Court

A Donegal Town man who admitted stealing women's clothing for “sexual gratification” has been fined €150 at Donegal District Court.

Monday's sitting of Donegal District Court heard that Stephen Bowles entered his neighbour’s flat on two occasions and stole the items as a form of apparent “sexual deviancy” as opposed to a particular fixation with his victim who was not in any danger, the court heard

35-year-old Stephen Bowles, Apartment 1 Old Laghey Road, Donegal Town pleaded guilty to entering Flat 2 Old Laghey Road, Donegal Town and stealing a silver coloured ladies dress and assorted ladies clothing to the value of €50 on a date unknown between March 1 and March 10.

He also pleaded guilty to a similar offence on July 8 when he stole ladies clothing to the value of €90. 

The court was told the injured party told gardaí she felt that someone had been in her apartment a few days earlier on July 10.

When Gardaí went to the defendant’s flat, he admitted both offences.

The court was told he was able to access his neighbour’s apartment via the balcony.

He admitted that he had taken the clothes for “sexual gratification”.

Defence solicitor Rory O’Brien said the defendant was a 35-year-old man who previously worked in Centra Supermarket in Donegal Town.

He had immediately co-operated with the gardaí and was ashamed and embarrassed by his behaviour.

The defendant was born in England and has lost his father in recent years.

He was living with his mother in Northern Ireland and had no previous convictions.

He was viewed as a diligent, hard-working employee and was no longer working.

And, anyone who knew him would know that the matters before the court were not a feature of his nature.

A letter of apology from the defendant was read out in court where he stated he was very sorry for the distress he had caused and realized that she could not forgive him.

He said the incident would cause him to reassess his life 

The solicitor said the defendant was out of work but had saved up €1,000 as compensation.

He was of excellent good character and there would be no repetition.

It was unfortunate that the defendant felt the need to do what he did.

The court was told there was a very detailed Probation Report from Northern Ireland, before the court.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said the defendant was a man of 35 who should have “settled himself” by now.

The defendant had entered the injured party’s flat on two occasions.

The judge said the background to the burglaries seemed to be some sort of “sexual deviancy.”

The judge said it was very scary for the victim as it happened on two occasions.

Judge Kilrane said the defendant had no previous convictions and these matters had been a source of “shame and embarrassment”.

He ordered that the €1,000 be paid over to the victim.

The judge convicted and fined the defendant €150 on the burglary charge of July 8.

The other charge relating to March was struck out.