A COUPLE were caught committing a lewd act in a park close to where children were playing.
Stephanie Brewer and Michael Brookes appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court charged with outraging public decency in the early evening of May 30 in a park, off St Vincent Road, Gosport.
Brewer, 21, admitted committing a sexual act on 32-year-old Brookes.
The court heard that the pair were sitting on a bench and drinking cider from bottles, near to where six children – aged from four to 11 – were playing.
The children reported what they had seen to one of their mothers, who approached the couple and was verbally abused and threatened.
Prosecutor Simon Jones said: ‘She approached them and was told to clear off.
‘At that point he comes towards her with a clenched fist and the bottle raised.
‘She was petrified as she thought this man was going to do her serious harm.’
The woman’s partner then arrived and Brookes ran off after saying ‘I’m sorry’.
Andrew Stone, defending, argued that a community order would be more appropriate for the pair than a custodial sentence.
He said that Brookes – who has previous convictions for assault, dishonesty, criminal damage and public order offences – had long-term problems with alcohol and drugs, as well as health issues.
Mr Stone said that Brookes had also just secured a place at the Two Saints 101 Hostel in Fareham, which he would lose if he went to prison.
Mr Stone said that Brewer had learning disabilities and was ‘highly vulnerable’ – and had not been in trouble before this incident.
He said: ‘She struggles to take responsibility for the actions, which she barely understands herself.’
Brewer and Brookes, who both struggled to stay awake in the dock, were sentenced by Recorder Sarah Vaughan Jones QC.
Mrs Jones said: ‘This offence was committed in a public place with no regard for the shock and distress of the children nearby.’
Brewer, of no fixed abode, was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Brookes, also of no fixed abode, was given a 12-month community order, with supervision and a requirement to do 20 days rehabilitation.
He was banned from entering Fareham town centre, which Mrs Jones said was to prevent further offending, for two years through a criminal behaviour order.