Restraining order for man accused of 'performing sex act' outside funeral home - as charges dropped; Charges were dropped against Gareth Turner before he accepted a restraining order, banning him from going near the Stockton business.
Byline: Samuel Jones
A man who was accused of harassing aStocktonfuneral home by donning a cat mask and performing a sex act at the window has seen charges against him dropped.
Teesside Magistrates' Courtheard Gareth Turner had been accused of removing his clothing, in the early hours, on four occasions to commit the lewd act.
But while he was acquitted on Wednesday, he now must obey a restraining order.
The 33-year-old had denied the charge and the case was discontinued and no evidence was offered.
However prosecutors instead opted to apply for a restraining order, banning him from the premises.
Prosecutor Joanne Hesse told the court that CCTV had captured the alleged behaviour outside the Stockton home.
The four incidents are said to have occurred on August 18, 23, 25 and September 5 this year.
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She said: "The defendant was interviewed and said it wasn't his intention to cause anyone harassment, alarm or distress.
"The Crown say that the offence is discontinued on the basis of a restraining order being imposed after acquittal."
She added: "I would offer no evidence in respect of the offence before the court today in respect of the restraining order being imposed."
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Callum Terry, defending Turner, said that he would not oppose that course of action.
Magistrates told Turner: "The prosecution have offered no evidence therefore this case is dismissed."
They added: "The bench have decided that we are going to impose a restraining order."
Turner, of Chilton Close, Hardwick, Stockton, was told the order will be made for two years, which bans him from visiting the premises.
Magistrates said: "If you breach this order you will be back in court and serious things could happen to you."
Credit: Daily Mirror
Teesside Magistrates' Court