Magistrates refused a restraining order against a man who walked naked through a Norfolk village despite hearing a woman who he sent indecent messages to was living in fear. 

William Hall, 38, was arrested in January after walking down the street in Dickleburgh naked except for a beanie hat and shoes.

He appeared before Norwich Magistrates Court to be sentenced having pleaded guilty to a charge of outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner.

He also admitted sending explicit texts that included a picture of his penis to a woman in the village, near Diss.

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The court was told also remains under police investigation for similar alleged offences of indecent images, unwanted calls and public nudity after being arrested again in May.

Norfolk Probation Service had told a previous hearing that he was deemed high risk with a “clear escalation in seriousness” and a pattern of similar behaviour.

Eastern Daily Press: William Hall outside Norwich Magistrates CourtWilliam Hall outside Norwich Magistrates Court (Image: Newsquest)

However magistrates were told his actions could be seen as a “cry for help” because he suffers complex difficulties that require mental health and social support and he felt “cut off and lonely” in the small south Norfolk village. 

Colette Harper, prosecuting, said in 2020 he had set fire to a sofa saying he no longer wanted to live in Dickleburgh causing damage to a neighbouring property.

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In a statement read in court his victim said: “For up to a year I was unable to sleep through the night and would often wake in fear of another incident taking place. I was scared that if it did I might not wake up in time as I did previously.”

Eastern Daily Press: Hall walked naked through Dickleburgh because he felt isolated and lonely in the village, the court heardHall walked naked through Dickleburgh because he felt isolated and lonely in the village, the court heard (Image: Geograph)

Lucy Brakewell, mitigating, said he was “very disadvantaged” but was complying with support and had not reoffended since.

Imposing a 12 month conditional discharge, magistrates said a retaining order was “not necessary or proportionate”.   

They ordered Hall to pay £250 compensation to his victim.