A GAY pensioner has been found guilty of exposing himself to a cyclist in a public toilet in Chester.
Andre Paulo de Oliveira Filho, 68, from Saltney, had denied visiting the gents at the Groves, near the River Dee, with the intention of picking up men for sex.
But following a trial on Friday, Cheshire magistrates found that he had deliberately flashed his semi-aroused penis at John Faulkner on February 16 this year.
The defendant, who is from Spain and has been living in the UK for two years, will be sentenced on July 14 following the preparation of reports by the Probation Service.
Giving evidence at Chester Magistrates Court, Mr Faulkner said he had cycled to Chester from Manchester and arrived at around 12.50pm.
He went into the toilet and noticed one of the two other men using the urinals acting suspiciously.
“He didn't appear to be urinating,” Mr Faulkner said. “He was bobbing around and looking about, which I thought was a bit strange.”
Having left the toilets, the witness ate his lunch before returning to the conveniences 45 minutes later to wash his hands.
He was astonished to see the same man standing at the same urinal.
With no-one else in the vicinity, Mr Faulkner claimed the man swivelled 180 degrees with his penis in his hand and stared him directly in the eyes.
“He was looking straight at me,” he said.
“It made me uncomfortable – I didn’t know how to react. I didn't know whether to confront him or what to do.
“I felt the need to report it because there were a lot of children around. It was the school holidays and he was obviously up to no good.”
When police officers arrived at the scene half an hour later, de Oliveira Filho was in exactly the same place in the toilets.
The defendant, who spoke through an interpreter in court, explained his one hour 15 minute toilet break by saying he had difficulty urinating and then needed to use a cubicle, before returning to a urinal.
“I have difficulty urinating when there are people around,” he said. “It's a mental thing.”
In his police interview, he denied visiting the toilet for gay sex – known as cottaging – but said another man had recently flashed at him in the same block.
Cross-examining the defendant, prosecutor Matt Harvey said: “In your interview with the police, you said someone had done it to you. So there you are in the toilet for an extremely long period of time and you’ve expressed an interest in an individual by exposing your penis.”
But de Oliveira Filho, of Cwrt Y Terfyn, Saltney, replied: “I never exposed myself to that man. He’s not my type.”
He claimed Mr Faulkner had said something to him, at which point he turned and smiled, embarrassed at being unable to continue the conversation due to his poor English.
The defendant said he had a long-term partner, adding: “It causes me a great deal of sadness that he has to go through this.”
It took magistrates just 20 minutes to return a guilty verdict, describing Mr Faulkner's account as “consistent, credible and concise” while de Oliveira Filho’s evidence was “vague” and “characterised by inconsistencies”.
See full story in the Chester Leader