TK Maxx: man arrested attempting to photograph 14-year-old

Gardaí have arrested a man at a busy Dublin shopping centre for possession of child pornography after he pointed a camera phone up the skirt of a 14-year-old girl.

It is understood the man had strapped the phone to his foot and pressed the record function before standing beside the girl and attempting to place his foot between her legs.

Gardaí believe he attempted to record images of a number of underage girls at discount store TK Maxx in a retail park opposite the main Blanchardstown shopping centre. He was caught on the store's CCTV camera.

The 14-year-old is understood to have been accompanied by an adult at the time. She was unharmed in the incident although she was traumatised.

Staff at TX Maxx saw the man acting suspiciously and he was kept under surveillance. When they realised what he was doing gardaí were immediately called.

The incident occurred at 3pm on Thursday 28 May, but details have only just emerged. There were a large number of people in the shop at the time.

The man was arrested at the scene and brought to Blanchardstown garda station where he was initially charged and granted station bail.

Sources say that there were a number of suspicious images on the man's camera phone, which has been seized and will be used in evidence against him. It is understood that the arrested man is in his 20s and it is believed that he is Irish.

He is scheduled to appear at Blanchardstown district court later this month. He will initially be charged under the Public Order Act, but a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

More serious charges are expected and they will be heard at the Circuit Court.

Management at the TK Maxx branch told the Sunday Tribune: "It is not something that we would be able to comment on."

A spokesperson for Blanchardstown shopping centre said that once somebody is arrested in relation to any offence, the centre is unable to comment.