A recent incident at a Farmfoods store in Hartlepool has stirred public outrage, as a man, identified as Christopher Cusworth, was caught on CCTV engaging in explicit behavior described as “disgraceful and disgusting.” Teesside Magistrates’ Court delved into the disturbing details of the incident, revealing that Cusworth, a 33-year-old father, is deemed a “high risk” to the public. Despite the court proceedings, Cusworth remains unable to provide any explanation for his reprehensible actions.

The court proceedings unfolded as it was disclosed that Cusworth’s lewd act was discovered when members of the store staff observed him “looking suspicious” during his visit to the Catcote Road supermarket. Upon reviewing the CCTV footage, employees noticed Cusworth placing something in his bag. Confronted by a staff member, he paid for the items and left the store.

A subsequent examination of the CCTV footage uncovered the shocking solo sex act, prompting the closure of the affected area in the store. Law enforcement authorities were called to the scene to collect a DNA sample, which was later matched to Cusworth. The court further revealed that Cusworth has two prior convictions, one of which is also sexual, although specific details were not disclosed during the court proceedings.

Neil Taylor, representing Cusworth, emphasized that there had been no repetition of such behavior, and his client pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. When pressed for an explanation, Taylor stated, “It may well be there are issues that are deeper that can’t be dealt with in one interview.” The defense attorney expressed difficulty in ascertaining the catalyst for Cusworth’s disturbing actions.

District Judge Steven Hood did not mince words in his assessment, stating, “Your actions on July 14 in Farmfoods were nothing short of disgraceful and disgusting.” The judge highlighted the potential risk to everyone in the store had the staff not intervened promptly.

The court proceedings also touched upon the issue of Cusworth’s assessed risk to the public, deemed as high according to a pre-sentence report by the probation service. Despite being unable to explain his actions, Cusworth pleaded guilty to outraging public decency, a charge related to behaving indecently.

In his sentencing decision, Judge Hood handed Cusworth a 26-week sentence suspended for 18 months. Additionally, Cusworth is required to complete a minimum of 10 rehabilitation days and perform 150 hours of unpaid work. The court also imposed financial penalties, with Cusworth ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £154 surcharge, which will be deducted from his benefits.

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