Man arrested on ‘outraging public decency’ charges was ‘elderly man with medical issues’

PSNI
PSNI
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Police have revealed the man arrested in a Co Armagh shopping centre yesterday for ‘outraging public decency’ was, in fact, ‘an elderly man with medical issues’

The police had yesterday said they had been made aware of a number of incidents where a male was allegedly touching himself inappropriately in Portadown’s High Street Mall.

A school child had reported the matter to parents who reported it to police and with High Street Mall security, the man was arrested for ‘outraging public decency’ on Wednesday evening.

However police today revealed the man clearly had medical issues who is now in the care of the NHS.

Police criticised comments made under yesterday’s post on the PSNI Craigavon Facebook page including one that the PSNI were letting the public down.

Clearly, a remark aimed at vigilantes, police said it was important to establish full facts before deciding the next step, let alone guilt or innocence.

Posting on PSNI Craigavon page, police said: “I don’t like these sorts of updates, as there really is no winner and certainly no happy outcome.

“Many of you will have seen our post yesterday afternoon in relation to a man arrested for outraging public decency.

“It is quite apt that the conversation on that post quickly turned to the topic of establishing full facts, seen and unseen, before deciding on the next step, let alone guilt or innocence. One in particular who commented was of the view that because we weren’t committing to keeping him locked up that we were somehow letting the public down.

“Sadly, this story had taken on one of those unforeseen turns. It is now abundantly clear to us that this is an elderly gent with more medical issues than anything else. Whilst we will follow up with the original reporting child in this case, our NHS colleagues have taken over with the elderly male and will now ensure that care and supervision is in place.

“We won’t be going into details on the specifics of either party, but I hope those who follow the page will take me at my word when I say that this is a truly sad case, with no winner, no victory, but now two people who need help and support.

“This is a prime example of why investigations, especially sensitive ones, need to be done in a certain way. What may on the face of it appear to everyone to be one thing can very quickly become something else. Deciding on someone’s guilt based on a first glance, or without proper investigation is dangerous, irresponsible, and is how innocent and vulnerable people get hurt.”