A chef has admitted outraging public decency in a city centre car park after being spotted by a CCTV operator.
Hassan Butt, 33, of Victor Road, Heaton, was caught committing a sex act on himself in a car he had borrowed from a friend in the early hours last Monday in Randell Well Street car park right opposite the busy Love Apple club.
When officers asked Butt to get out of the car he pulled up his trousers and said he had only been scratching himself, but when he was later confronted with the CCTV footage he admitted what he had really been doing.
Magistrates gave Butt a conditional discharge for 12 months for outraging public decency and ordered him to pay a £15 surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.
He also admitted not having insurance or a valid licence to drive the car he was in and was fined £110 and ordered to pay £195 in prosecution costs and surcharges.
Butt, who worked at Chutneez in Swain House, was also given eight penalty points for having no insurance which, when totted up with previous points, led to a 12-month driving ban.
Javid Arshad, mitigating for Butt, said his client had been on his way to get food after work when his girlfriend rang and he told her he was going to park up somewhere.
Mr Arshad said: “He had no intention of spying on anyone. Because there was a lot of people out, the only place he could find was half in the disabled bay. There was some erotic talk – he was playing with himself and not really aware of people around him.
“No one actually saw him apart from the CCTV cameras and it was not very clear, only when it zoomed in could you see what was going on. It would have been very difficult at eye-level for anyone to see what was happening unless they were very close up.”
However, Butt, who was of previous good character, was arrested and the car was seized by police.
The friend has still not got the car back and Butt was having to pay him back the £1,000 it was worth. He also had to go home and explain everything to his wife, Mr Arshad told the court.
And he added: “The embarrassment he will get from this will be worse than any punishment the court could serve.”