A waiter who streaked alongside the Olympic Torch was merely inspiring “hilarity not distress” when he joined the relay wearing nothing but trainers, his lawyer insisted today.
Daniel Leer, 27, ran a short distance close to the Olympic flame as it was about to be handed over to Sir Steven Redgrave in Henley on 10 July with Free Tibet written on his back and holding a replica torch.
Today he appeared before Oxford Magistrates to deny one charge of indecently exposing himself.
He indicated he was willing to plead guilty to an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, but disputes that his actions were sexual in nature or that they caused distress to onlookers.
Sally Thomson, for the defence, said her client was making a political protest: "Indecent exposure is a charge for people who jump out of bushes and try to alarm women who are out walking on their own. It does not suit the circumstances of this incident."
The young man’s bail conditions – which include being banned from the River Thames and central London until the end of the Paralympics – are due to be reconsidered at a separate hearing today.
Setting a date of 30 October for the trial, District Judge Lynne Matthews asked the defence whether they would be seeking an amendment to the bail conditions: "How about if he is not allowed to visit those places unless fully clothed?".