ELY: Kerb Crawler Showed Women Pornographic Images

PUBLISHED: 16:43 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010

A KERB crawler upset women walking in Ely by showing them pornographic pictures as he drove past, city magistrates heard. Dean Anthony Purcell, 26, of Bevills Close, Doddington, pleaded guilty to two counts of using a sign to cause harassment, alarm or d

A KERB crawler upset women walking in Ely by showing them pornographic pictures as he drove past, city magistrates heard.

Dean Anthony Purcell, 26, of Bevills Close, Doddington, pleaded guilty to two counts of "using a sign to cause harassment, alarm or distress" on Thursday.

Crown prosecutor Laura Mardell told Ely Magistrates that Purcell stopped one woman on St John's Road as she walked to work on March 23.

Miss Mardell said: "She noticed the car coming towards her. It pulled across the road and stopped. She could see the driver had something on his lap. The driver said 'Excuse me' to her and she stepped towards the car.

"Mr Purcell then picked up a pornographic magazine and showed her a series of sexually explicit photographs and asked her opinion. She said she felt shocked and angry and asked if he thought it was okay to stop women and show them things that would upset them. He said it was okay. By this time the victim was scared and fearful for her safety, but she managed to make a note of the car's registration number. When she got to work, she telephoned the police."

Just 15 minutes later, Purcell approached a second woman, who was walking her dog along Downham Road, towards West Fen Road.

Miss Mardell said: "The lady saw the car driving slowly up and down the road and assumed the driver was lost. She could see something on his lap and assumed it was a map. However, when the driver leaned across to speak to her she realised it was a pornographic magazine. He showed her a series of explicit pictures but she kept walking." Miss Mardell said he attempted to show the woman the pictures "10 times" and that the incident lasted "30 minutes".

Purcell later attended a local police station by appointment, and suggested that he had seen these incidents as "some form of entertainment".

Miss Mardell finished by saying: "Both of these women have been left very distressed and I would urge you (the magistrates) to consider awarding compensation."

Purcell, who was not represented by a solicitor in court, said: "I had been told about a similar incident a few weeks ago at work and a few of the lads laughed about it. I did consider it funny but now that I have done it myself, I know that it isn't."

He continued: "The incidents happened the other way around and I didn't show the lady the picture 10 times in 30 minutes - I showed her twice and it lasted about five or six minutes. As soon as I realised how shook up the lady was I drove away. I am really sorry for it."

Purcell said he did make an attempt to find the woman and apologise, but he told the court that he couldn't find her.

Magistrates decided to ask for reports before sentencing and Purcell was released on unconditional bail, to return to Ely Magistrates Court for sentencing on May 7.

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