Retired ambulance driver admits performing lewd act on himself in Tesco

PUBLISHED: 12:49 20 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:08 21 June 2020

Tesco Extra, Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston. Picture: Bill Smith

Tesco Extra, Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston. Picture: Bill Smith

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A retired ambulance driver has admitted performing a sex act on himself in a branch of Tesco - including one occasion in the children’s clothing section.

Derek Harman, 69 and of Aspen Close, Loddon, was caught behaving lewdly by a shopper in Tesco Extra on Blue Boar Lane on April 25 this year, Norwich Magistrates Court heard.

Prosecutor Elle Sheerin told the court how the bystander had confronted Harman, who then attempted to flee the Sprowston store, before later being identified and arrested by police.

She added: “Staff at Tesco checked CCTV and looked further back and saw that he had committed similar offences on April 21 and 24.

“On these occasions he was following females around the store.”

On each occasion, Harman was covering himself with a white board.

On Friday Harman admitted to acts of public indecency on April 21 and 24, having previously pleaded guilty to the April 25 offence at an earlier hearing.

James Burrows, mitigating, said Harman had acknowledged his mental health difficulties and was desperately seeking help.

He said: “At 69 years of age he is the first to admit mental health was not really a thing when he was growing up.

“He is desperate for help and I suggested he see his GP, but he told me that he did not want to be a burden on the NHS.

“In his adult life he was an ambulance driver for 33 years but took an early retirement has not worked since 2008.

“This has shaken him and his family to the core and he is desperate for some help and support.”

Magistrates handed him a 24 month community order which requires him to also take part in 40 days of rehabilitation activity.

He was also ordered to pay the court £240 - £145 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench Karen Norris told him that were he to re-offend during the span of the order, he would face greater consequences.

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