Man Admits Beach Romp Which Disgusted Families

A court's heard how a 28-year-old man pretended to have sex with a topless woman in a "sordid'' display in front of 80 people on a popular family beach.

Niki Lawrence, a heating engineer from Croydon, south London, pleaded guilty to a charge of outraging public decency at Newport Magistrates' Court on the Isle of Wight.

He was sentenced to carry out 200 hours of community service and pay £80 court costs.

Chairman of the bench Captain Richard Woodford told him: "I suggest you behave in a more appropriate manner from now on.''

The hearing was told that Lawrence and Emma Martin, 22, from Northern Ireland, were arrested after "disgusted'' members of the public alerted the police to the couple's actions on Sandown Beach at 2.20pm on Saturday, June 12.

The court heard that Lawrence had come to the island for the Isle of Wight Festival being headlined by Sir Paul McCartney.

After a night of drinking, Lawrence had continued consuming more alcohol during the morning of the incident.

Heavily drunk, Lawrence, who had had an argument with his girlfriend on the phone, went for a drink with Miss Martin before they went to the beach together, the court heard.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said: "Mr Lawrence and Miss Martin were engaged in some sort of sex on the beach in full view of members of the public.''

She told the court that Sean Ware, owner of the nearby Driftwood Bar, told police "I found the whole incident to be harmless fun which went too far and became sordid, disgusting and unsavoury.''

Another member of the public, Beatrice Johnson told police: "It made me feel sick.''

And Claire Arrowsmith also told police: "I felt violated and embarrassed. I was shocked, I couldn't believe this was happening''

Off duty police officer PC Matthew Moss, who also witnessed the incident, said:

"I have never seen anyone behaving in that manner in front of families quite simply trying to enjoy the sunshine.''

Robert Twell, defending, said that Lawrence, who kept his shorts on during the incident, was heavily drunk and had succumbed to the advances of Miss Martin after having an argument with his girlfriend.

He said: "He was extremely drunk. This was at the time of the festival, he had been drinking all the previous day, he then carried on throughout the night and when he got up in the morning he carried on drinking as well. Miss Martin was staying in the same hotel in a nearby room.

"Mr Lawrence had had an argument with his girlfriend, he was upset about that. He went for a drink with Miss Martin, they went to the beach. He didn't intent anything inappropriate to happen in public.

"They did simply go to the beach and Miss Martin comes on quite strongly to Mr Lawrence.

"With his judgement damaged by the level of drink he consumed and being upset by the fall out with his girlfriend, Mr Lawrence succumbed to Miss Martin's enticements.

Mr Twell added: "Mr Lawrence does feel disgusted about what happened, about what he did and he does want to convey his apologies to all those who may have been offended.''

The court heard that Miss Martin was arrested but failed to answer her police bail and has not yet been charged in connection with the incident.

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