Man sentenced over sex act near Moor Park

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A judge said it was “no coincidence” a man caught performing a sex act in his car chose a lay-by close to Moor Park toilets to do so.

Andrew Swift, 48, was convicted of outraging public decency, after insisting he was simply adjusting his trousers in his car close to the Preston park.

Handing Swift a community order, Judge Michael Byrne said: “The location where you parked your car and indulged in this conduct is not without significance in my view.

“You parked in a lay-by in close proximity to Moor Park. There were pedestrians coming and going including a lady with a pram.

“It was also in close proximity to a public convenience.”

Throughout his trial at Preston Crown Court, Swift denied peforming a sex act on himself in his car but a man who had seen him said he was disgusted and noted down the registration plates.

Jon Close, defending, said since his conviction, Swift, of Lacey Avenue, Penwortham, has suffered abuse online and within his local community which has had “an extremely salutary effect on him.”

However, he said Swift’s lewd conduct was not targeted towards anyone and he had driven away as soon as he was seen.

Judge Byrne said Swift would not be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

He said: “I don’t regard this as meriting a sentence of custody but that is not to be taken that the court does not regard this as anything other than serious. I make it plain that this offence does not subject the defendant to the notification procedures.”

He ordered Swift to undergo supervision with the probation service for two years and pay a £60 surcharge.