A 48-year-old man spat at several people before trying to ‘have sex’ with a metal bollard outside a Marks & Spencer store, a court heard.
Richard Parker was seen ‘exposing himself’ on the morning of July 16 in the centre of Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
At around 7.50am that day, a woman sitting on a bench says she saw him walk along to two young boys and ‘spit at them three or four times’ before they moved.
Then ‘without any warning’, Parker dropped his trousers turned around appeared to be ‘trying to have sex with a metal bollard’, Grimsby Crown Court heard.
The horrified witness says he then pulled his trousers up, approached her, walked to a bench around eight feet away, then exposed himself again.
Members of the public challenged Parker, who spat at the woman and walked away when police were called.
In a statement read to the court, the witness said the incident was ‘terrifying in Covid times’.
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She said although his spit did not hit her, nor anyone else he spat at, it was still a worrying ordeal.
The woman added: ‘I thought it was disgusting because he could have been passing on a disease.’
On another occasion, Parker spat at council workers who asked him to move away from a building as he was using a window cleaner’s bucket to wash himself.
Prosecutor Craig Lowe told the court he spat at the worker and two of his colleagues ‘around ten times’.
At the time of the bollard incident, Parker was on bail for another offence in which he waved a large knife around a street in Grimsby. .
A woman walking with her young son on April 9 saw Parker ‘stumbling’ and ‘staggering’ down the road and trying to stab at passing vehicles.
She described him as ‘oblivious’ when he tried to cross the road and was dodged by a van.
Mr Lowe said that the woman called the police and then managed to flag down a passing police car.
He said: ‘The officer, a police dog handler, spoke to the defendant. The witness was described as continuously shaking and scared.
‘The officer approached Mr Parker as he was waving the large, eight-inch knife around. He also had a smaller knife in the other hand.
‘When he was asked to drop the knives, he threw them both into the road and he was arrested at the scene.’
Parker was charged with possession of a bladed article and bailed.
Gordon Stables, mitigating, said Parker suffers from schizophrenia, and although he has a criminal record, there was a long break between his offending between 2006 and 2015.
Recorder Gumsley handed Parker a 12-month community order for the two public order offences and possession of a bladed article, and told him he must register on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the charge of exposure.
He said: ‘In the present circumstances of people being terrified of people with knives and maybe having Covid, you going out in whatever circumstance your mind was in with a knife to spit at people is disgraceful.
‘It’s very difficult for me to clarify and make a decision whether you are someone with mental health problems that medicates with drugs, or if your drug taking causes your mental health problems.
‘It is quite clear that when you are in a better state in yourself you can keep out of trouble but you need help.’
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