August 2018

Jail for pervert who spied on girl in Blackburn bowling alley toilets

A pervert who peeped over the cubicle wall at a 17-year-old girl using the toilet at a Blackburn bowling alley had previous convictions for similar offences.

Blackburn magistrates heard that Haben Mihretab was jailed for 24 weeks in 2017 after pleading guilty to three offences of voyeurism.

Mihretab, 21, of Whalley Banks, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to observing a person doing a private act at the Tenpin bowling complex on July 1. He was jailed for 12 weeks.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said the 17-year-old girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was at the bowling alley with her boyfriend and had gone to the toilet on her own.

She took down her jeans and underwear and sat in the toilet when she heard some footsteps outside.

“All of a sudden a head appeared over the dividing wall between cubicles,” said Mr Robinson.

“She said she could see some eyes staring down at her.”

Mr Robinson said the girl was tearful when she told her boyfriend and reported the incident at reception.

Mihretab was arrested after police viewed CCTV which showed him entering the ladies toilet.

“The incident left the victim feeling shocked and scared to go into public toilets,” said Mr Robinson.

“She believed the only reason for him being there was to be able to observe females in a state of undress.”

Mr Robinson said the 2017 offences had all been committed in the Wigan area.

Two had been in pub toilets and the third in the toilets at Wigan North Western railway station where at least eight females, including a 10-year-old girl, were observed by him.

Mihretab, who comes from Eritrea in Africa, attended his sentencing hearing with a translator.

In the Wigan cases, a previous hearing was told the court how Mihretab spied on two young women in The Moon Under Water in Wallgate when he got into the female toilets and hid in an empty cubicle in the middle of the two stalls occupied by the friends.

He then struck again at the train station on at least two separate occasions, once on July 11 and once on September 4 when he hid in the middle cubicle, both times at rush hour.

One of his victims was a young girl in her school uniform.