Man jailed over sex act outside house in south Belfast

Accused claims to have no memory of incident because he drank seven litres of vodka

A 67-year-old man caught masturbating outside the front window of a house in south Belfast has been jailed for three months.

David Mawhinney was also put on the sex offenders register for five years after being convicted of exposure and indecent behaviour.

The defendant, of no fixed address, claimed he had no memory of the incident in the early hours of July 18th because he had drunk up to seven litres of vodka.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard police received a report that a man was masturbating in the street outside a woman’s home on Ireton Street. An officer went to the scene and saw Mawhinney standing at the front window, intoxicated and performing the sex act, according to the prosecution.


Giving evidence about his alleged behaviour, he said: “I can’t actually recall that episode.” But he confirmed that he accepted police had witnessed the incident.

Mawhinney described himself as alcoholic for 40 years who had been made homeless earlier this year.

Asked by defence barrister Michael Boyd about his drinking in the hours leading up to the events on Ireton Street, he replied: "I would have been drinking roughly about seven litres of vodka a day."

When it was put to him that it seemed an extraordinary amount, he insisted that he was “more than positive” about the quantities involved.

He also told the court that he may have drunk two bottles of Southern Comfort spirit.

Mawhinney maintained there was no intention to cause anyone any distress or alarm. “I don’t recall seeing anyone at all,” he added.

During cross-examination, a prosecution lawyer said: “A police witness...said he observed a male standing at the front window, side-on masturbating.

“The police officer was sober, you were not. It’s probably likely that his recollection is more reliable.”

Mawhinney responded: “I accept that.”

Mr Boyd arguing that his client lacked any intention to alarm due to his level of intoxication. But based on the police evidence, District Judge Fiona Bagnall found him guilty of both offences.

She imposed three months imprisonment and ordered him to comply with the registration requirements for five years period.