Man, 57, jailed 10 years for masturbating during church service

By PrimeNewsGhana
Patrick O’Connor

A 57-year-old man from Sneem in Ireland was sentenced to 50,000 euros in fine and 10 years in prison for masturbating in church while service was in session.

The man reported to be mentally ill violated the country’s blasphemy law.

Patrick O’Connor was arrested at St. Michael’s Church in Sneem after he took off his pants and began touching himself in a rather strange manner during a mass.

According to worldnewsdailyreport.com, the man, who is known to suffer from schizophrenia and repeated psychosis, allegedly masturbated for more than 5 minutes while running around the church before he was immobilized by other attendees.

The police arrived on the church premises a few minutes later and the naked man was arrested and taken away.

71-year old Dorothy McIntyre, who filed the accusations against O’Connor, said she contacted the police because she was appalled by O’Connor disrespect for the Catholic Church.

“He was running around naked in a church and committing unspeakable acts. He will burn in hell for his sins.”

She said it was her duty to complain under the Defamation Act, which makes blasphemy a crime punishable by a fine of up to 25,000 euros ($37,500.) and 10 years in prison.

Mr. O’Connor was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence, by the Honorable judge Sara O’Leary, who described this case as “the perfect example of why the blasphemy law exists”.

The judge, in her 37-page conclusion, described the accused as an “unrepentant blasphemer” and says his “hateful crime against Christianity deserves an exemplary punishment”.

Patrick O'Connor's sentence has sparked a lot of controversy with many human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch describing it as outrageous and called for his freedom.

Patrick O’Connor’s lawyers believe that more consideration should be given to their client’s mental problems, and they have hinted of filing an appeal against the ruling.