A cyclist who picked up a prostitute on a street corner could not be prosecuted for kerb crawling because he was not in a car, a court was told yesterday.
The 21-year-old man paid Lesley Cole £20 for sex after stopping his bicycle in a red-light area. He wheeled his push bike to the rear of a nearby electricity substation in Boscombe, Dorset, and Cole followed.
Soon afterwards, the pair were spotted in a compromising position by a policeman and both were arrested.
The cyclist was let off when the officers checked the law on kerb crawling and realised that it states that an offender has to be in a motor car. Although people on foot can be prosecuted for kerb crawling under the Sexual Offences Act 1985, it must be proved that they have done so “persistently”.
Cole’s client was therefore released with a caution for outraging public decency.
Cole, 25, was charged with the same offence and was jailed for ten weeks.
Bournemouth Crown Court was told that Cole was caught as part of a crackdown on prostitution codenamed Operation Planet on October 5 last year. Although she was jailed she was released immediately because she had already served 89 days behind bars.
Inspector Mark Kelly, of Boscombe police, said: “He was arrested at the time on suspicion of kerb crawling. But the law on kerb crawling states that it is a person in a motor vehicle, and a bike doesn’t count as a motor vehicle.
“There is another part of the Act whereby anybody can be guilty of kerb crawling with or without a car, but it has to be done persistently.
“Although in this case he solicited the woman for prostitution, he hadn’t done it persistently, and so received a caution.”
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Ten Weeks For Tart - Caution for Punter
From The Times: