Man simulated sex in front of beachgoers

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The Independent Online

A 28-year-old man simulated sex with a topless woman in a "sordid" display in front of 80 people on a popular family beach, a court heard today.

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.

The hearing was told that heating engineer 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.

In full view of about 80 people including children, Miss Martin stripped until she was wearing only a thong and began "massaging herself".

She then "gyrated" on top of Lawrence before he pulled her thong to one side and simulated oral sex on her, 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 that he saw the couple "lying on the beach in the missionary position before he moved down Miss Martin's body to her groin area.

"He saw him move her underwear and perform an oral sex act in public on Miss Martin in front of 80 members of the public."

Mr Ware told police: "I found the whole incident to be harmless fun which went too far and became sordid, disgusting and unsavoury."

Ms Smout said a woman went to remonstrate with Miss Martin but was told by her to "F*** off".

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

Claire Arrowsmith also told police: "I felt violated and embarrassed.

"I was shocked, I couldn't believe this was happening.

"They crossed the line when they performed the sex act in full view."

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 Dwell, 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 added that his client admitted simulating oral sex on Miss Martin but vehemently denied that the act had actually taken place.

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 intend anything inappropriate to happen in public, if they were going to have sex they would have gone to the hotel.

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

"There's talk of her dancing around like a stripper, massaging her body, it is clear she was behaving in a very provocative manner.

"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.

"As a result, they did begin playing around together and simulating sexual activity."

Mr Dwell 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.