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Gloucestershire Business News

Indecent exposure in Gloucester store

A Big Issue seller who exposed his genitals to two women staff members at a Tesco Express store in Gloucester has been jailed for 14 weeks and placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday (February 17) that Callum Lean, 28, of no fixed abode was selling the Big Issue outside the Tesco Express in Southgate Street, Gloucester, on October 16th last year when he started pestering customers as they left.

Prosecutor Hannah Depledge said: "Lean's harassment of the customers was reported to the store staff's and he was approached by a woman member of staff who told him he shouldn't be doing this directly outside the store. Lean replied, 'I'm not' and followed this up with a string of swear words.

"A short time later, at around 11.45am Lean entered the store again and approached the same lady and blew into her face before shouting at her, "I am going to shove my d*** down your throat'. He also made sexual gestures towards her.

"The employee felt trapped as Lean pulled his trousers down in the middle of the store exposing his genitals to the woman, who had by this point managed to turn her head away and avert her gaze.

"He shouted 'I'm going now you stupid bitch' and gathered his belongings.

"As he left the store he shouted at another member of staff and told her to 'suck my d***' before dropping his trousers down and exposing his genitals to her. Both incidents were captured on the store's CCTV.

"On October 23, at 6.40pm, Lean began banging on the window of the same store and was told by the security officer, Samuel Hawkes, that he was banned from entering the store following the incident seven days earlier.

"Mr Hawkes put his arm up to prevent Lean entering the store. He did not touch him until Lean started to get aggressive and pulled his arm down. The security officer placed both his hands on his chest to get him to move away.

"Lean then swore at the security officer before becoming increasingly aggressive and causing him to take action and remove him from his personal space.

"Lean then started making a punching motion towards Mr Hawkes and this escalated when a member of the public tried to intervene.

"Lean then grabbed the security officer's licence which was hanging around his neck and took it away. He spat on the licence, stating, 'how do you like this?' as he stuffed it down the front of his trousers into his genitals.

"He then took it out and pushed the licence down into a public bin.

"The security officer said he was shaken up by the whole incident. His licence was not recovered due to the health risks in trying to retrieve it from the public bin."

The court was told Lean has 21 previous convictions for 44 offences, which include numerous assaults, thefts and public order offences.

Caroline Williams, defending, said: "Lean recalls being told to move on and not pester the customers on the first occasion, but at the time he was under the influence of alcohol, he was homeless and was suffering from bereavement after losing a couple of people close to him, which made him feel very angry."

Lean pleaded guilty to two charges of exposure of his genitals intending that two women would see them and causing them distress on October 16, 2020 and also admitted assault by beating of Mr Hawkes on October 23, 2020 and the theft of Mr Hawkes' Security Industry Association licence on the same date."

District Judge Nicholas Wattam said to Lean: "It is to your credit that you pleaded guilty at an early opportunity. These offences are serious in their own category made worse the way you exposed yourself to the two female shop workers and issued sexual threats to them. This can only be described as horrible.

"You assaulted a security officer, a man doing his job, and the way you behaved towards him was also disgraceful, by taking his licence and doing what you did with it.

"All this taken together I feel that only a prison sentence can be imposed."

The judge sentenced Lean to 14 weeks in prison and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £128 and to sign the sex offenders' register for the next seven years.

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