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Joshua Hunt, 32, who wore a latex black ‘gimp suit’ and terrified female motorists, was found guilty of causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
Bristol Magistrates Court heard on two separate occasions he was seen wearing the black outfit and a terrifying mask made out of tights he’d purchased from Asda on the same day.
He also eyes and a mouth he had drawn on with UV paint, the court was told.
The incidents in Accommodation Road, Bleadon, near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset late on 7 May and in the early hours of 9 May last year left on-lookers terrified, the trial was told.
He accepted he was the ‘gimp’ who was spotted but denied any intent to cause alarm or distress.
But after a one day trial, he was found guilty and sentenced by a district judge who said she did not believe his excuses on how he was caught wearing the outfit.
During the first incident, a woman was driving along the lane with her husband and two children in the car when she spotted a black figure – which looked like a person – crawling on the ground.
In disbelief, the pair discussed what they had seen and convinced each other than it was likely to be a bin bag. They chose not to call the police, but instead report it online.
The woman was left “unnerved” and “does not want to travel around the lanes anymore”, Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard today (October 27).
Just over 24 hours later, a woman was driving along the road with her sister-in-law and teenage boy in the car.
As she drove around a corner, she came face-to-face with a person dressed in all black with a face covering.
As her sister-in-law looked up from her phone, she screamed in horror. The driver sped up to pass, and the figure jumped to the side of the road.
The teenage boy described the woman’s reaction as “like a scream from a horror movie”.
“I always take this route to work, but I won’t be taking this route in the dark anymore as it does not feel safe”, she said in a witness statement.
Within five minutes, the police were contacted and sent a unit to the scene.
PC Declan Coppock, and his colleague PC Pickles, were the first officers to arrive – and spotted a white Citroen Berlingo van reversing out of lay-by.
Suspicious, he stopped behind the vehicle and got out to speak to the driver, who identified himself as Joshua Hunt.
At the time, he was wearing grey jogging bottoms and a blue hoodie. Suspecting his involvement in the incident, he was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.
In response, he said: “I’m not a gimp, I don’t own a gimp suit”.
When the officers searched his person, he told them: “You can take the cuffs off, I’m a normal person. I have a few problems, I need some help basically.”
In police interview, he provided a prepared statement – stating that his “mental health has deteriorated rapidly, and I am in