Drunk jailed over seafront exposure

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse. - Credit: Archant

A FLASHER who exposed himself in front of families and children on Weston seafront has been jailed for 24 weeks.

Two witnesses – one a six-year-old child – spotted Stephen Blythe, aged 51, of Puttingthorpe Drive in Weston, touching himself on July 29, first in a promenade shelter and later on a seafront bench.

North Somerset Magistrates’ Court heard the beach and promenade were both packed during the busy holiday season, and that Blythe, who pleaded guilty to the charge, had no memory of the incidents after consuming three litres of cider and half a bottle of vodka earlier that day.

He was arrested when witnesses called police.

Ian Jackson, prosecuting, told the court: “At the time, the beach and promenade were extremely busy, filled by and large with families with children, and the defendant would have been aware of this.

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“Just after 1pm, a man was walking with his wife and two children towards Uphill when he saw the defendant (behaving inappropriately) in one of the shelters. He stopped when he noticed the witness but soon started again.

“Soon after another witness was walking along the promenade when her six-year-old child noticed the defendant and pointed out his actions to her.”

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Nigel Yeo, mitigating on behalf of Blythe, told the court his client was an alcoholic who would normally limit his cider-drinking in an effort to prevent himself ‘turning problematic’.

He said: “He visited a store on his way to the beach but they did not have any, so he bought a bottle of vodka. The combined effects rendered him extremely drunk, and it is in that state he behaved in the way described.

“He normally drinks cider and knows how much he can drink before it starts turning problematic. Mr Blythe has no recollection of the incidents, but completely accepts how they have been recounted.”

Sentencing, the bench told Blythe his three previous convictions for indecent exposure between 2000 and 2006 had become aggravating factors to the charge, while they added he had shown ‘some denial’ to the incidents.

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