A pair who committed sexual acts in public claimed it was ‘just a kiss and a cuddle’ – but witnesses said they felt ‘sick’.
Grant Fraser, 27, and Laura Tyler, 31, appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Monday, having already pleaded guilty to a string of offences earlier this month.
I appreciate that if you are homeless and on the street it may be difficult, but if you are going to go into that sort of activity you need to find some private placesChairman of magistrates Gavin Oclee-Brown
The court heard that the sexual acts occurred in an alleyway that connects Wick Street and Beaconsfield Road in Littlehampton, and took place between 6.30am and 7.30am on August 1 last year.
Magistrates also heard evidence from witnesses via prosecutor Gaynor Byng.
She said the witness was in her garden, which backed onto the alleyway, when she heard muffled voices.
She then went inside her home and looked out of a window to see what was going on – and saw Fraser and Tyler ‘in various states of undress’ and committing the acts. She then called her mother-in-law over, who also saw what was taking place. The witness said it made her feel ‘quite sick’, and her mother-in-law felt ‘disgusted and sick’.
When police arrived, the pair were in the process of getting dressed, and they were arrested. In their police interview, Fraser said it was ‘just a kiss and a cuddle’ and that they were taking shelter in a doorway because it was raining, Ms Byng said.
The court heard how Tyler tried to resist arrest, and swore at the police officer and kicked out at them – but because she was drunk she could not recall her actions.
Fraser was also sentenced for breaking a shop window and Tyler for stealing two joints of meat worth £43 from Sainsbury’s. She intended to sell them on, the court heard, but she was caught by staff and the meat was retrieved.
For their crimes, the pair were each given a 12-month community order with up to 20 days of rehabilitation, and were ordered to pay £260.
Chairman of magistrates Gavin Oclee-Brown said: “You are both intelligent people; you know why outraging public decency is an offence. There could have been children walking past.
“I appreciate that if you are homeless and on the street it may be difficult, but if you are going to go into that sort of activity you need to find some private places.”
Earlier, the court heard how the pair had both been homeless for more than five years, but that Tyler was now staying in a B&B.
Solicitor Adrian Butt said Tyler’s life ‘had disintegrated’ six years ago after she split up with an abusive partner and lost custody of her four children.
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