Hallowe’en street entertainer on indecency charge

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A street entertainer who was in Derry to perform at the Hallowe’en celebrations has appeared at the city’s Magistrate’s Court charged with indecent exposure.

Jasm Kahla (27), of Killard Square, Ballyhornan, Co. Down, was charged with exposing his genitals to two women from a window at Clarendon Street in the city yesterday morning.

A police officer told the court that officers responded to a report from two women in a business premises in Clarendon Street that a naked man had been seen in a window opposite, committing a sex act and moving from side to side.

The defendant, although admitting that he was naked, claimed it was accidental and denied committing a sex act.

The police officer said both witnesses were frightened by the experience and have supplied witness statements. He told the court that when arrested the defendant said: “It was me. It was not my fault. I did not mean it.”

The officer also said that during interview the defendant admitted he was in the window with no clothes on apart from a towel draped around his shoulders but denied committing a sex act.

The court was also told that in February of this year Kahla was convicted of indecency involving children arising out of an exposure incident.

Police opposed bail this morning and requested that the defendant be remanded in custody.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client maintained that “whatever happened was entirely accidental.” He said the defendant was in Derry to perform during the Hallowe’en celebrations and was staying with his extended family in a premises at Clarendon Street with only one shower.

Mr Quigley admitted that his client has a prima facie case to answer but would be contesting the charges.

He said his client’s family were prepared to assure the court that if released on bail he would be taken from the city immediately and only return for scheduled court appearances.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted bail on the condition that Kahla left Derry immediately. He was released on bail of £900 and two sureties of £900 each to reside at his home address in Ballyhornan. He was ordered not to re-enter the city except to attend scheduled court appearances.

Additional bail conditions included a curfew in force from 10.30pm to 6.30am, and a further curfew from 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday to coincide with school departure times.

Kahla was also told to report to Downpatrick PSNI station daily and be electronically tagged. He was ordered not to have any contact with under 18s and not to engage in any employment which would bring him into contact with children or vulnerable persons.

He is due to appear in court again on November 27.