Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: An M&S in Yorkshire (Wiki)
A fifth man has been charged with a public sex act in a Marks & Spencer's bathroom in Dublin city centre, it has emerged.
Appearing at Dublin District Court on Monday (19 July 2021), Gustavo Viturino, a 32-year-old from Brazil, pleaded guilty to public masturbation after being caught in the act by two plain-clothed police officers last month.
The toilets at Mary Street Marks & Spencer had been under police surveillance by Garda Síochána ('Guardian of the Peace') since becoming a popular gay cruising spot, the court was told.
“What about the public shopping in Marks & Spencer and they go to the bathroom, and they are confronted with this?”
According to IrishExaminer.com, Viturino claimed he did not go to the M&S specifically to engage in a public sex act, but while there he was aware it was going on. He then tried to communicate with another man in the toilet.
When the defense solicitor argued it involved consenting individuals, judge Bryan Smyth replied: “What about the public shopping in Marks & Spencer and they go to the bathroom, and they are confronted with this?”
Viturino, who has lived in Ireland for 10 years, was remanded on bail pending sentencing in September. He had had no prior criminal convictions.
Viturino's solicitor said it had been a frightening experience for his client, and that a conviction could affect his employment and visa.
A married father-of-three is among the other men charged.
Commenting, LGBTQ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told Attitude: "Having fun is fine, but not in places where members of the public might see sex acts and be offended. People should be able to go to a public toilet without being confronted by men having sex. Horny guys need to find more appropriate places to hook up."
Attitude has approached M&S for comment. A Garda Síochána spokesperson declined to comment.