Risca man denies touching himself inappropriately in Newport cinema
A DISTRICT judge will visit a Newport cinema before he decides whether a man is guilty of committing an act outraging public decency there.
Nigel Blunt, 55, of Crescent Road, Risca, was on trial at Abergavenny Magistrates Court yesterday, after denying touching himself inappropriately at Cineworld, Spytty, on November 8 last year.
A mother and her under-age teenage daughter alleged that Blunt committed the offence while he sat four rows in front of them, while the defendant claimed he had simply been scratching warts on his chest.
District Judge Richard Williams will visit the cinema on February 21 before giving a verdict after defence solicitor Jonathan Holmes said the lay-out of the cinema meant the pair would have been unable to see anything but the back of Blunt's head.
Prosecutor Steven Lane said the mother and daughter had gone to see The Sapphires, a film about an all-girl Aboriginal singing group starring Chris O'Dowd, and had been the only people in the cinema apart from Blunt.
The mother's police statement was read out, in which she said Blunt lay back in his chair and she could sense "something wasn't right in how he was behaving".
She said he began rubbing his chest, leg and groin area as he watched the women in the film and she became uncomfortable, taking her daughter out of the cinema.
The teenager gave evidence by video link and she said: "From the moment he walked in, he frightened me. It's not normal for a man to go on his own to see a film like that, it's a girlie film with girls singing. I thought it was strange."
She said she saw Blunt rubbing his body and added: "I giggled nervously because it was scary."
The pair told security guards in the complex, but after they went into the cinema, they found Blunt simply sitting there watching the film. Blunt told the court he visits the cinema up to six times a week and had planned to watch The Sapphires and then another film, Argo, after it.
He said that he may have touched his leg and scratched his chest because he has warts there, but added: "I had no idea who the other people there were, but I did notice someone leaving. I deny the allegations profusely."