A DRIVER who exposed himself to two female drivers in traffic in Enniskillen has avoided a prison sentence.
Dariusz Piech (46) of Sally’s Wood in Irvinestown appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday for sentencing on two counts of exposure, relating to two incidents last year.
At around 5.15pm on January 20, 2020 a woman driving on the Sligo Road in Enniskillen noticed a man in another car had exposed his penis and was staring into her car at her. The court was told he was also engaging in a sex act.
The following month, at around 6.30pm on February 24, a woman driving on the Wellington Road had stopped at traffic lights when Piech pulled up beside her. She noticed he was masturbating while looking directly at her.
Both women noted the registration number of Piech’s car and reported the incidents to police. He was arrested and interviewed, and later identified by the witnesses.
At court on Wednesday District Judge Steven Keown said Piech’s behaviour had been “outrageous” and had “caused shock and alarm” to the women involved. He also noted Piech had initially taken the case to contest.
Defence barrister Ciaran Roddy noted the incidents had happened almost two years ago and Piech, who had not previous convictions, had not offended since. Mr Roddy said Piech was remorseful for his actions. Judge Keown replied the best way for him to express remorse would have been to enter a guilty plea instead of “dragging two women to court.”
Mr Roddy said the Piech had been experiencing “intimacy issues” in his marriage at the time of his offending. The barrister added it had been “strange and disturbing behaviour” and said Piech had some mental health difficulties.
With regard sentencing options, Mr Roddy said Piech worked six days a week and was concerned he may not be able to do community service, but said a probation order would be “appropriate” in his case. He also noted the defendant had been assessed by Probation Services as being of low likelihood of reoffending. Mr Roddy asked the court to avoid a custodial sentence, noting Piech’s strong work ethic, lack of previous convictions, and the limited nature of the offending.
Judge Keown said the case clearly passed the custody threshold, stating “five months at least in prison would be entirely appropriate.” He said the only reason he was not sending Piech to prison was because he would be released after two-and-a-half months and his “concerning behvious will not have been addressed” in order to protect the public.
Sentencing Piech to probation, which he said would address his issues, Judge Keown warned the defendant if he did anything similar again in future, of if he “puts a foot wrong with probation” or if he reoffended he would send him “straight to prison.” The judge warned Piech completing probation was more important than his job.
Commending the women involved for their bravery in going to the police and to court, Judge Keown granted a prosecution application for Piech to be subject to a two year Sexual Offences Probation Order (SOPO), to run alongside his probation order.
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