Man sentenced for outraging public decency in St Albans

St Albans Crown Court. Picture: Danny Loo

St Albans Crown Court. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A 54-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence for indecently exposing himself in front of a child in St Albans.

Gavin Edwards, of Trewbridge, Bradford upon Avon, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to three counts of outraging public decency which took place in January this year.

Edwards was staying with a friend in the Fleetville area of St Albans when he was seen naked and masturbating at a window by a family living across the street, including their young child.

In the first incident, at around 7.30am on January 22, the child saw Edwards and alerted her father. The family subsequently saw Edwards doing the same thing at the same time on January 24 and 25.

Edwards appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday, August 8. Gary Rutter, prosecuting, said: “[The father] saw a white male completely naked stood in the upstairs window, clearly masturbating. The man made no attempt to disguise what he was doing.

“He was identified and interviewed and extremely remorseful. He couldn’t explain why he hadn’t shut the curtain, and denied being an exhibitionist and having sexual gratification from it.”

Beth O’Reilly, mitigating for Edwards, said: “Throughout these proceedings he has been highly remorseful and regretting of his actions. The stress has impacted his professional life and his family - his wife is deeply traumatised by these events.

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“He has never sought to minimise his actions but has said he is so sorry for any hurt or upset he has caused. It’s unusual for someone to be so candid from the outset.

“He is a very successful musician and this conviction will have an impact because of travelling to America. He has already cancelled a tour in America because of that. He has no previous convictions.”

Deputy circuit judge Graham Arran said: “This is blatant conduct over three separate days. The defendant is an intelligent man - he must have realised the danger that he was creating that he could be seen.

“Your actions caused shock and disgust to neighbours opposite and on one occasion a child saw you. The gravity of your actions is clear. You are fortunate that only one young child saw what you were doing.”

Edwards was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £300 with a £140 victim surcharge.