A man accused of committing an ‘obscene’ offence in the vicinity of a play area at a park in Ballymena has had the case further adjourned to February 10.
Rudi Rovid (23), who when originally charged had an address listed as Clonavon Terrace in Ballymena, is charged in relation to the afternoon of Monday November 8 last year. He is accused of ‘indecent behaviour’ at People’s Park and a second charge of committing an act of ‘lewd, obscene and disgusting nature’ by ‘exposing’ himself when females were nearby. The defendant faces a third charge alleging he ‘attempted to intentionally engage’ in a ‘sexual activity for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification when an unknown child, a child under 13 years was present or in a place from which you could be observed’.
Ballymena Magistrates Court previously heard the defendant had found a potential bail address - the location of which was not disclosed.
The defendant, who had the assistance of a Romanian interpreter at an earlier court hearing, had previously said: “All I have done I just took a leak”.
At the earlier hearing, a police officer opposed bail and said police received a report from a park warden who was approached by two members of the public saying they saw a male wearing a purple tracksuit “masturbating within the vicinity of the play park where there were children present.”
Police arrived and saw a female speaking to a male in a purple tracksuit and she then told police she had seen a man “masturbating in the direction of another female”. The male was arrested a short distance away.
The officer said two witnesses provided statements to police with one saying she was with her “young child” near the play park when she saw the suspect “with both hands down his trousers”.
A second witness said she was walking through the park and thought he was urinating but when she got closer she could see he was “clearly masturbating”.
The police officer said when the witnesses “challenged” the suspect he “apologised”. The officer said it happened around 12.45 in the afternoon.
When the defendant was arrested and taken to Antrim PSNI Station “he made admissions to being in the park but he denied the allegations stating that he had only been urinating”.
The policewoman, at the earlier court, had objected to bail saying the defendant was a foreign national with no permanent residence here but was staying with a “family friend”. She said police did not believe it was a suitable address. The officer said the defendant had a clear record in Northern Ireland and they had applied to Romania to see if he had a record there.
A defence solicitor told the earlier hearing the defendant came to Northern Ireland over a year ago and worked in a food processing factory. He said the defendant said he had no record in Romania. The lawyer said that during a police interview the defendant said he had “some form of medical condition” and when he had to urinate had gone “behind a tree” but denies “any form of masturbation”.
At the earlier hearing, a District Judge admitted the defendant to £500 bail, saying he had a clear record. He was to reside at address approved by police and was not to go within 100 metres of any school, public park or children’s play ground. He was to surrender his Romanian ID card and was not to apply for any duplicate or passport. The case had been adjourned to Ballymena Magistrates Court on December 2. At the December 2 court the defence lawyer said although bail had been granted the defendant was still in custody as he had not been able to secure an address but was “still working” on the issue. The case was adjourned to December 9 when the court heard a bail address had been obtained and the case was further adjourned to January.