Update: Not jailed – Made subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order
Pervert confronted after being caught masturbating while filming kids playing
A pervert who masturbated himself while filming children playing had 70 clips of kids recorded on his mobile phone.
Tensions were high at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court as Lee Simon Beal stood trial over the incident next to a children’s play area in Deighton.
District Judge Michael Fanning found him guilty of outraging public decency and said he was concerned by his fixation on young children.
He was forced to warn members of the public to behave due to their frequent outbusts throughout the proceedings.
Judge Fanning indicated he would be making a formal complaint to police after one of the witnesses, Shane Shaw, hurled abuse at him and made threats towards Beal upon his release from prison.
He said: “I’m not having anybody rant in a public courtroom.
“He’s threatened to harm the defendant and his words were, ‘watch when he gets out’.
“Clearly he hasn’t listened to a word I’ve said.”
The large quantity of films on the 40-year-old’s phone were discovered following his arrest at the scene in Riddings Road.
Footage shared on social media showed him being confronted by a group of angry residents after he was witnessed masturbating inside the silver Volkswagen Golf just feet away from a playground where children aged 10 and under were playing.
The Huddersfield court heard that Beal, who works as a carer, was called a ‘nonce’ and ‘paedophile’ as he was dragged from the car to await the arrival of police.
Richard Blackburn, prosecuting, said that the incident happened at 4.30pm on July 12.
He said: “The defendant was parked up in his vehicle across the road from a children’s play area.
“The vehicle attracted the attention of a couple of residents and several of them approached the defendant.
“The defendant, whilst in the vehicle, is seen to be filming the children.
“He had a hoodie across his lap with his hand moving up and down.
“One witness sees flesh and the other sees his genitals.
“He was masturbating while filming the children.
“A witness removed his keys from the vehicle and his phone, police were called and he was arrested.”
The trial heard evidence from three local men who confronted Beal over his behaviour.
Shane Shaw told how he rode his bike over to the vehicle and saw ‘scruffy and tramp like’ Beal with one hand on the steering wheel and another hand moving under clothing.
He noticed the mobile phone stuck onto the windscreen with Blu Tack in front of Beal and it was recording.
Mr Shaw said that he reached in through the open window and grabbed the phone, discovering that Beal had been filiming the children when he played the footage back.
Beal claimed that he had parked up to charge his mobile phone and wait for a work colleague while he filled out an application form.
He denied touching himself and said he didn’t realise that the phone was filming the children.
When quizzed about the rest of the footage found on his phone, he claimed that most of these were of his own and relatives’ children.
He claimed that he was attacked and branded a ‘nonce’ and a ‘paedophile’ as he was dragged from the car and asaulted but police have not pursued these allegations.
Judge Fanning told Beal, of Lilac Court in Deighton, that he didn’t believe his account.
He told him: “You deliberately parked your car in the street and placed your camera where you were able to video children at play, I’m satisfied that you were masturbating.”
Beal had been on remand for 53 days awaiting his trial but Judge Fanning said that he didn’t believe a further custodial sentence would help protect the public from him.He said: “You’re fixated on young children and that needs to be addressed and it will not be addressed in prison.
“I do not want you back on the street without any risk assessment – you concern me.”
Judge Fanning ordered a full report and remanded Beal into custody ahead of his sentencing on September 26.