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Driver exposed himself to female cyclist 'while asking for directions'

"This incident has made me feel angry. I feel violated. I was just trying to go home."...

A 'pervert' driver exposed himself to a female cyclist while pretending to ask her for directions as she rode home. 

Paul Lovatt pulled alongside the victim in his car and rolled down the window before performing a sex act on himself while asking the woman 'if she knew where King Street was'.

The 'horrified' woman shouted at him and, as he drove away, she 'chanted' his registration number to herself while calling the police, to make sure she remembered it, Stoke on Trent Live reports. 

Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard that in a bizarre twist 40-year-old Lovatt then returned to the scene and tried to apologise.

Prosecutor Emma Thompson said: "At around 5.20pm, the victim was cycling home from work. While in Hanley, she became aware of a vehicle behind her.

"She said she noticed it because it was driving on the other side of the road as if trying to overtake her, but was going really slowly.

"She got off her bike to get out of his way. As she did so, he pulled alongside her. The front passenger side window was down.

"He said, 'Excuse me, love, can you tell me where' - then he hesitated - 'King Street is?'

"She noticed his penis was exposed."

The court heard Lovatt was performing a sex act and when the victim shouted at him, 'Oh my God, you are a disgusting pervert'. He drove away.

Ms Thompson said: "The victim had her phone out to call the police. She was chanting his registration number so she didn't forget. 

"She then saw his vehicle come back and saw the defendant again. He said, 'I'm sorry love, sorry about that'. He kept saying it then drove away.

"The defendant has not been in trouble for 20 years. Nevertheless, this is a disturbing offence."

Lovatt was later arrested and claimed he 'found the victim attractive' and had done 'a stupid thing'.

The victim said in a statement: "This incident has made me feel angry. I feel violated. I was just trying to go home. I then have a disgusting person showing me their genitals.

"I'm concerned he would do it to someone else, someone who was not as vocal as me.

Lovatt, of Richard Dawson Drive, Bucknall, pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent exposure. 

Peter Howland, mitigating, said: "He apologised straight away to his victim. He accepts he returned to speak to her, but his sole reason was to apologise.

"He has given up his part-time employment because of this offence."

Lovatt was handed a community order and made subject to the notification requirements of the sex offenders' register for the next five years.

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