July 2019

‘He kept saying I was hot and fair sexy’: Man jailed for harassing teenage girls on bus

Anthony Quigley, pictured in 2003

The middle-aged man who claimed he was only having banter with four 15-year-old girls on the back of a bus has been jailed for three and a half years.

The accused man, Anthony Quigley, was jailed by two judges today for different offences. He got two years for assault causing harm to a woman in Mitchelstown in the middle of the day.

A consecutive sentence of three years with half of it suspended was imposed on him for the offences Quigley committed on the bus. He committed those crimes when he was on bail for the Mitchelstown assault so the sentences had to be consecutive.

Referring to defence submissions made by barrister, Niamh Ó Donnabháin, Judge Brian O’Callaghan said: “It appears there is nowhere inside or outside prison where he can get support for his difficulties. He is relying on his elderly parents.”

One of the conditions of the suspension of the last 18 months of the total prison term of three years, consecutive to two years, was that he would stay away in perpetuity from the teenaged girls he harassed on the bus journey.

Anthony Quigley, 45, of 14 Roches Heights, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, was found guilty of charges including one of sexual assault and four of harassment on December 4 last year in the course of a bus journey.

He was also found guilty of engaging in threatening words or behaviour and common assault on one of the teenagers.

He denied the charges but a jury found him guilty on all counts at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The victim of the sexual assault on the bus testified during the trial: “He was telling racist jokes – about Chinese or people with dots on their foreheads. He asked us our names. We just said our first names. He shook our hands. I immediately locked into stranger danger.

“I started coughing. He started rubbing my back and patting my shoulder. I was terrified. He patted my left thigh a few times – my upper thigh.

“He smelled awful. He asked if we liked his aftershave. He asked if we had Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook,” she said.

Another witness described the defendant’s jokes as racist and sexist. She said there was a reference to winning the lottery and that he said if he did he would take them on holidays and would love to stay in a room with her.

She said she felt uncomfortable and he asked about boyfriends.

“He kept saying I was hot and fair sexy. I was scared to get up. He kept saying inappropriate stuff about how hot I was. He was touching (friend’s name) on the thigh.

“He wrote down his number and said I should call him and send him compliments. He kept saying he hopes I call him. I kind of froze,” she said.

Quigley said in his defence that all he did was engage in banter and asked: “If a fella is being brought to court for this what is the world coming to?”

Questioned by Detective Garda Denis Ryan, Quigley said, “That is not my style of thing. You are saying inappropriate, I am saying banter… Off my head might have been an easier way to describe my antics.”

Detective Garda Denise Fitzgerald said Quigley was convicted by a jury of assault causing harm to a woman at Lower Cork Street, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, at 2.30pm on February 5, 2018.

Det Garda Fitzgerald said Quigley was passing the car where the injured party had her window open and that he tried to grab the keys from the ignition, he struck her through the open window and dragged her out of the car and further assaulted her.

He also threatened to kill her and the incident only stopped when passers-by intervened and pulled him away from the attack.

The detective said Quigley’s previous convictions included one count of sexual assault, four counts of assaulting women, one of assaulting a man, nine counts of harassment and 12 of making indecent phone calls.

Det Garda Fitzgerald said that consistently his crimes over the years were against women. His name was on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

She said he had never apologised or shown remorse for his attack on Amanda Donnegan on the afternoon in February last year.

Ms Donnegan said afterwards that she did not think prison was the right place for the accused and that he should be in the Central Mental Hospital in her opinion.

Defence barrister Niamh Ó Donnabháin said the defendant claimed the injured party made a provocative remark to him as he passed her car.

She said he had a serious head injury in a 2001 car crash which caused a personality disorder, incongruous behaviour and that his condition was deteriorating.

Judge Gerard O’Brien said that background did not allow Quigley to be a menace to society attacking innocent people going about their business.

“But there are questions to be answered by the State in terms of the provision of mental health services to people (like the defendant),” Judge O’Brien said.

He imposed a four-year sentence with half of it suspended provided the defendant had no more offences for the five years following his release from prison.