© Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
Richard Fitzpatrick appeared in provincial court in St. John's today, to plead guilty to soliciting sexual favours from teenage girls.
A St. John’s man who propositioned three young teenaged girls for oral sex in a schoolyard has been given a conditional sentence.
Richard Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to soliciting sexual favours.
Judge David Power agreed to a 30-day conditional sentence and nine months’ probation, which had been suggested by Crown prosecutor Dana Sullivan and defence lawyer Averill Baker.
Sullivan withdrew five other charges relating to the girls’ ages.
On Feb. 2, 2010, Fitzpatrick approached three girls ages 13, 14, and 15 in the Holy Cross Junior High school parking lot on Ricketts Road and offered them $40 for oral sex. The girls refused and told their principal, who contacted the police.
During the sentencing hearing today at provincial court in St. John’s, Baker described the charge as the “least serious offence” in the Criminal Code of Canada — a contention the judge said was debatable.
Baker acknowledged that Fitzpatrick has a lengthy criminal record but said he has taken steps to turn his life around.
Letters from a psychologist and director of the Brother T.I. Murphy Learning Centre, the alternative school where Fitzpatrick finished his education, stated that he’s made great strides in improving his life, and says he was the product of an abusive upbringing.
According to the conditions of Fitzpatrick’s sentence and probation, he must have no contact with the girls and has to stay away from all junior high and high schools in the province.
He’s subject to a curfew and must abstain from alcohol and drugs.