Man performed a lewd act near Preston park

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A motorist has been found guilty of performing a lewd act in his car close to a park used by families.

Andrew Swift, 48, of Lacey Avenue, Penwortham, near Preston, denied a charge of outraging public decency on May 13 last year but the jury took less than two hours to find him guilty of the offence.

During his trial, Preston Crown Court heard a man had spotted Swift in a car parked in a lay-by next to Moor Park, off Garstang Road, Preston, performing a solo sex act while holding what he believed to be photographs, at around 11.10am.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley said: “He was disgusted by what he saw, particularly due to the presence of young children close by. He decided to take the registration of the vehicle.

“At that point he saw the car speed off – he thought because the driver had seen him noting the registration number.”

The court heard Swift had claimed to police he had his young son in the car, and had given him a bottle.

He said he had been “adjusting” his trousers and that the only photographs on his possession were those of his children in his wallet.

Giving evidence, the main witness, who can’t be named for legal reasons, described how he was on his way to work, walking on the path between Moor Park and the lay-by, when he spotted the defendant in his car with his trousers open. He told the jury it “startled” him.

He said: “I was shocked and it made me feel quite annoyed.

“There was a lady walking her dog and she was coming towards me. Ahead of me was a young mother with two children and a pram.”

Swift will be sentenced on March 3.