Mum speaks out after St Albans park loo pervert is convicted of voyeurism

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 June 2016 | UPDATED: 14:26 16 June 2016

Verulamium Park, St Albans, where the offence occurred

Verulamium Park, St Albans, where the offence occurred

Archant

Parents have been warned to be vigilant after a St Albans mum caught a pervert spying on her toddler under a cubicle wall in a public toilet and kicked him in the head.

Malcolm Hawkins, who was sentenced at St Albans Crown CourtMalcolm Hawkins, who was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court

Parents have been warned to be vigilant after a St Albans mum caught a pervert spying on her toddler under a cubicle wall in a public toilet and kicked him in the head.

Park pervert Malcolm Hawkins, 57, has been convicted of voyeurism after he spied on a three-year-old girl in toilets at the Westminster Lodge end of Verulamium Park in St Albans.

Hawkins, of Oakmere Avenue in Potters Bar, was caught after the toddler’s disgusted mum took a picture of him and broadcast it on social media.

But the mum is now fuming over his sentencing, after St Albans Crown Court Recorder Patrick Fields handed down a 12-month Community Order along with a £250 fine and £1,500 costs.

Malcolm Hawkins, who was sentenced at St Albans Crown CourtMalcolm Hawkins, who was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court

He also had to register as a sex offender for five years and the prosecution said it would consult with the Crown Prosecution Service about applying for an order banning Hawkins from going to women’s toilets..

The Crown Court heard last Thursday (9) that on June 14, 2014, Hawkins lay in wait in the women’s cubicles at a toilet in Verulamium Park and when the mother went in with her child, he put his head underneath.

The mother shouted “dirty pervert” and took a picture of Hawkins, which she distributed on social media.

After Hawkins was told about the photo by a neighbour, he handed himself in to the police.

Verulamium park in St AlbansVerulamium park in St Albans

Although he denied the charge, he was convicted of voyeurism after being found guilty by the jury.

Prosecutor Will Noble said that on July 17, 1998, Hawkins sexually assaulted a woman by pushing her against a fence and touching her. She screamed and he ran away. He received a probation order for that offence on February 4 in 1999.

Piers Mostyn, defending, said Hawkins suffered from a learning disability and could not read or write.

He lived independently and worked until a few years ago. He said he had stayed out of trouble for 16 years and had been on bail for two years for this offence without any other offences.

Verulamium Park toilet blockVerulamium Park toilet block

After sentencing, the mother of the toddler, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I don’t think he got enough for the offence. My daughter still remembers it, and will not go back in to those toilets.”

The mum explained that she had taken her girl to the public toilets beyond the lake at Verulamium, towards Westminster Lodge, and had been helping her when she “looked down and saw him. I had a perfect view as I was facing the toilet bowl.

“My initial reaction was to kick his head to get rid of him.

“He was completely silent, even when I banged on the door, calling him a dirty pervert. I took my daughter out of the toilet, and stayed in the area, and got a photo of him, after talking to my husband about him.

“I took lots of photos of him coming out of the toilet. I was screaming at him, and he just ignored me. He got on his bike and pedalled off. I don’t know how long he had been in the toilet for, before we got there.”

The mum warned other parents to, “just be vigilant and don’t let your kids go into public toilets on their own – no matter whether they are a girl or a boy - as this was a quiet toilet.”

She thanked members of the public for sharing the photo she posted after the distressing incident to help track the pervert down, saying, “it was the power of social media that caught him”.

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CountryPhile

Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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