Five men have been charged with engaging in public sex acts after a Marks and Spencer store in Dublin became a gay cruising hotspot.
According to the Irish Examiner, the toilets at the Marks and Spencer on Mary Street, Dublin, have become known in the local gay community as a go-to spot for public sex acts, a court heard on Monday (19 July).
So well-known in fact, that they had to be put under police surveillance.
Gustavo Viturino, 32, appeared at Dublin District Court, charged with public masturbation.
He pleaded guilty, and told the court that although he did not head to Marks and Spencer on 14 June specifically to engage in sex acts, he did somehow find himself in the toilets trying to communicate with another man and was caught masturbating by members of the Gardaí (police).
Garda (officer) James Smith, one of those who caught Viturino in the act, said that the incidents in the toilets had been happening for months.
Viturino’s defence solicitor, Paddy McGarry, said that the toilets in the supermarket had become known among the local gay community.
When McGarry told judge Bryan Smyth that his client’s offence was a consensual act, and not on the same level as those who engage in public sex acts in front of schools, for example, Smyth responded: “What about the public shopping in Marks & Spencer and they go to the bathroom, and they are confronted with this?”
Man cruising in Marks and Spencer grabbed the bum of a plain-clothes police officer
Gustavo Viturino, who has been remanded on bail and will be sentenced in September, is the fifth man who has been charged with engaging in public sex acts in the same Dublin Marks and Spencer in recent weeks.
As well as Viturino, one other man pleaded guilty after he was discovered by a plain-clothes Gardaí officer.
When the officer entered the toilets, the man grabbed his bum and exposed himself. In court, his defence said he “read the signals wrong”.
The three other men will appear in court in September in enter their pleas.