Man masturbated in Northampton shopping centre toilet cubicle next to teenage boy after following him in

Turner was also caught masturbating in bush by police

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 9:26 am

A man has been sentenced for exposing himself to a teenage boy in the toilets of a Northampton shopping centre and masturbating in the next cubicle.

The then-16-year-old boy has been seriously affected psychologically by Jake Turner's action in Market Walk Shopping Centre in 2019, Northampton Crown Court heard Monday (July 12).

Turner, aged 27, of Abbey Road, Northampton, was also caught masturbating in a bush by police in the Washlands area on Bedford Road in June.

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Northampton Crown Court
Northampton Crown Court

He was given a three-year community order, told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay the victim £500 in compensation by Recorder Sandeep Kainth.

"The impact on [the victim] who sits in court today has been grave indeed," the judge told Turner as he sentenced him.

"That [the victim's] ability to continue his life prior to how it was has been curtailed quite significantly all because of what you did on that day and that's something I have to bear in mind."

Ben Gow, prosecuting, explained that the boy noticed Turner 'slouched' on a bench as he walked towards the toilets in the shopping centre at around 12.35pm in December, 2019.

The victim noticed the defendant was following him and as he went into one of the cubicles, he turned around to see Turner had exposed himself in front of him.

"He went into the toilet cubicle feeling anxious as he had been followed and how the man had presented himself," Mr Gow said.

"He heard the sound of masturbation and heavy breathing, he could see the shadows and it appeared the man was masturbating and the defendant's shoes poked under the wall between the cubicles.

"So he waited for 30 seconds while the man was still masturbating, slowly unlocked the door and made his way out hoping the defendant wouldn't notice."

The teenager saw Turner leave the toilet and follow him out of the shopping centre when he called the police, who arrested him at the bus station.

Mr Gow said the victim had stopped going out after the incident, which made him feel 'strange and uncomfortable', according to his statement dated August, 2020.

He said he feels nervous about people walking behind him and getting trapped, suffers nightmares and sleep loss and does not feel safe.

"He feels ashamed of what has happened to him but he doesn't want it to define him," the lawyer said.

"But he struggles to make eye contact with people as he felt that was the reason he chose him and followed him."

Turner denied it when interviewed but pleaded guilty to exposure on the first day of his trial at the same court on April 27, this year.

At around 3pm on June 8, while on bail, he was seen 'scurry' into a bush in a public area of Washlands by two plain clothes police officers who were there after a report of illegal fishing.

When the officers followed him, they saw he had secreted in the bush and was masturbating semi-naked but initially gave the name of another man to police.

Turner did eventually admit it after police figured out his real name, saying he did not intend for anyone to see him, pleading guilty to outraging public decency and obstructing an officer on July 9.

Revantha Amarasinha, defending, said his client was remorseful and apologetic.

Recorder Kainth told Turner: "Clearly there is something going on Mr Turner in your head which has resulted in you committing these offences - that needs to be considered and addressed."