Neighbours saw sex act in home

Man walks from Hartlepool Magistrates Court after being found guilty of Masterbation. Picture by FRANK REID
Man walks from Hartlepool Magistrates Court after being found guilty of Masterbation. Picture by FRANK REID

A MAN has appeared in court after carrying out a sex act in his home in full view of neighbours.

Michael Walls was involved in the act while watching porn on his laptop in the lounge of his home in Catcote Road, Hartlepool.

But his behaviour had attracted the attention of shocked neighbours, whose homes in Caithness Road back on to the 28-year-old’s property.

Walls, an agency worker, was also caught in the act by police who turned up to arrest him, a court heard.

Walls, who is of previous good character, had denied exposure but was found guilty after a trial. He has now appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.

Prosecuting, Alan Davison said the incident happened around 11.45am on May 8.

He added: “Just before lunchtime, Mr Walls was at home when he was seen by a number of people who live in Caithness Road, which backs on to his home.

“He was stood at the lounge window wearing a yellow T-shirt and not much else, carrying out a sex act in full view of local neighbours. A number saw him and one rang the police.

“A PCSO arrived at the scene with a community support officer.

“They saw Walls stood at the window naked from the waist down.”

Mr Davison said Walls was arrested and in police interview he said he was alone at home and decided to carry out the sex act in the lounge.

The prosecutor added: “He said he was sat with the blinds closed, but didn’t realise he hadn’t closed the blinds at the back of his house and should have given that some thought.

“He denied deliberately standing at the window but was convicted after a trial on August 18.”

Neil Taylor, mitigating, said: “This is very much a case of a man who remained in the boundary of his own home, who, quite frankly, had he closed the blinds would have committed no offence.

“With him leaving the blinds open and making himself visible he committed the offence.”

Mr Taylor said the layout of Walls’s home meant he was watching porn on his computer on the sofa, which is why he was facing the window.

He added: “If you have a look at the photographs there is a degree of distance of those who saw him and clearly there are windows in the yards between him and them.

“One of the witnesses said he called people to come and see what was happening, which begs the question ‘why would you do that if you were so horrified?’”

Mr Taylor added: “Everyone who would be interested in this type of case has done assessments and they make it very clear there are no concerns about this man.”

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Geoff Morley gave Walls a nine-month community order and ordered him to pay £600 costs.

He told Walls: “Let’s hope we never see you again.”