A man who was caught pleasuring himself in a Northampton shopping centre claimed he was ‘scratching an itch on his upper leg”, a court heard.
Roger Pell, aged 56, was in a shop in the Weston Favell Centre on August 20 this year when staff became suspicious of his behaviour.
Northampton Crown Court heard the store had CCTV and Pell’s hand could be seen making a “rapid back and forth motion” in his groin area.
Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said: “Police were alerted and the defendant was arrested and interviewed.
“He said he had an itch inside his upper leg just under his private parts that was irritating him.”
Pell, who had previously been convicted of exposure, pleaded guilty to a charge of outraging public decency.
Judge Lynn Tayton sentenced him to eight months in prison.
He was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) that bans him from taking off trousers or shorts or any clothing covering his genitals in a public place.
He is also prohibited from approaching any unknown females or having unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16.
He is also banned from travelling on buses between 7.30 am and 9.30am and 3pm and 5pm during school term times.