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Al fresco groper placed on Sex Offenders’ Register

Al fresco groper placed on Sex Offenders’ Register

Tuesday 08 January 2019

Al fresco groper placed on Sex Offenders’ Register

A night-time reveller has become a registered sex offender after putting his hand down a stranger’s trousers to touch her bottom while out drinking last year.

Mark Joseph Keeffe (44) appeared in the Magistrate’s Court to be sentenced for the indecent assault on a woman, which took place in the al fresco area of the Royal Yacht on 17 October.

The Court heard that the assault, which was captured on CCTV, saw Keeffe approach the woman as she was “leaning over the table."

Legal Advisor Chris Baglin told the Court that Keeffe put his hand directly down her lower back towards her bottom before putting his hand down her trousers. He said the victim described "feeling a large, male hand on the skin of her bottom."

Royal Yacht Hotel

Pictured: The incident took place after midnight on 17 October in the al fresco area of the Royal Yacht.

Although Keeffe did “not recall the assault,” he identified himself in the CCTV footage and pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

Keeffe was represented by Advocate Luke Sette, who asked Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris, presiding, to impose a community service order.

Advocate Sette told the Court that his client “acknowledged that his behaviour was unacceptable” and that he “acted impulsively” in what was termed as an act of “tomfoolery."

Advocate Sette also informed the Court that his client had written a letter of apology to the woman concerned.

The Advocate emphasised Keeffe’s lack of previous convictions and the fact that he has “already faced a multitude of consequences” in his professional and personal life as a result of the incident. 


Pictured: Mark Joseph Keeffe appeared in the Magistrate's Court last week to be sentenced for indecent assault.

“The impact on him has been significant… He is not being blasé about these matters, he’s taking them very seriously indeed,” Advocate Sette explained. 

Having retired to consider his sentence, Assistant Magistrate Harris addressed Keeffe directly, saying that the act “may have been drunken tomfoolery”, but was nonetheless “clearly inappropriate” and “not acceptable behaviour."

He sentenced Keeffe to 90 hours’ community service and ordered him to pay £250 compensation to the victim.

Having been convicted for a sexual assault, Keeffe was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for a period of three years.

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