Couple denies having sex in St Helier park

The Magistrates Court Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37911706)

A COUPLE has denied having sex in a St Helier park in full view of members of the public.

Laurence Munks (43) and his partner, Lisa Farrington (46), pleaded not guilty to charges of offending public decency by engaging in sex on the steps in West Park on the evening of 3 September last year.

During a one-day trial in the Magistrate’s Court, Advocate Katie Ridley, prosecuting, said that Mr Munks and Ms Farrington had performed “a lewd, obscene and disgusting act which constitutes an outrage of public decency”.

But the couple maintain that they were both acting out the sex act as a joke.

A man who lives opposite the park saw the pair from an upstairs front window and phoned the police, who arrested Mr Munks and Ms Farrington in the park just after 8pm.

He admitted he had been 20 to 25 metres away from them but said they appeared to be having sex.

Another couple who were walking past the park also gave evidence, and said that although they had not looked at Mr Munks and Ms Farrington for long, they heard Ms Farrington moaning as if engaged in sex.

However, Mr Munks maintained that he had been behind Ms Farrington in order to squeeze a spot in a rash on her neck – and had jokingly gestured with his hips while doing so.

She said her skirt may have ridden up in the process.

Advocate Ridley asked Mr Munks: “Are you saying that three witnesses, none of whom know you, are lying about what they saw?”

He replied: “I’m just saying they are mistaken about what they saw.”

Under questioning, Ms Farrington insisted: “I have never had sex in a public place and I would be disgusted if I saw a couple having sex in public.”

The pair both admitted that they had been drinking heavily earlier on the day in question and that their inhibitions were low.

In her closing comments, Advocate Ridley said: “The defendants are not credible witnesses.

“The prosecution witnesses were clear. They had a clear view of what was happening and they had no reason to fabricate what they said.”

However, Advocate Darry Robinson, defending Ms Farrington, said of the prosecution witnesses: “They are just relying on what they thought they saw.

“Two of the witnesses only caught a glimpse of the defendants. They didn’t stop to look.”

And Advocate Nicholas Mière, defending Mr Munks, added: “There was an innocent explanation for what happened, and it was completely misinterpreted by any onlookers.”

The Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, said she would deliver her verdict on Monday.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –