A man known as 'the Somerset Gimp' has been banned from his creepy antics for five years due to police concerns about a 'sexual motivation' behind his actions.
Joshua Hunt, 32, was said to have 'terrorised' female drivers by jumping out at them at night while wearing a homemade mask. Bristol Magistrates Court heard that Hunt was linked to 25 incidents involving an all-black outfit.
He was found guilty of two offences under the Public Order Act of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress following a trial at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Friday October 27.
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The offences were related to incidents in Bleadon abd Somerset, that Hunt was responsible for on May 7 and 9 this year. A sexual risk order requested by Avon and Somerset Police was granted at the same court today (Friday November 3).
This civil order was requested due to investigating officers' concerns there was a sexual motivation behind his behaviour. A number of conditions are attached to the order that Hunt must observe, including not returning to Accommodation Road where some of the incidents occurred, or wearing certain clothing at night or face masks and coverings, unless for a medical reason.
Although this is a civil order, if Hunt breaks the it he will risk further criminal prosecution.
Chief Inspector Jonny Murray, North Somerset's policing commander, shared: "One of Hunt's victims described it as the 'worst night of her life' and the other said it was 'the most frightened I have ever been'.
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"We hope this sexual risk order will help protect the public from harm and distress, and prevent further such incidents happening again."
During his trial, the court heard that police found a handwritten story about a man named Jack who dressed up in black with a face mask and 'looked like something out of a horror film'.
District Judge Joanna Dickens told him after delivering the verdict: "I do not believe your evidence as to why you were wearing the bizarre costume. I think there was an intention to cause fear, alarm anxious and distress to others, and that's what happened on those occasions."
She slapped Hunt with a £100 fine and ordered him to pay each of his three victims £200 in compensation.
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