Prison officer caught committing lewd act in Ninfield, court told

Court news
Court news

A senior prison officer was caught naked and masturbating in a garden, a court heard this week.

Martyn Fry, 55, of Beacon Cottages, Lower Street, Ninfield, was spotted by a member of the public on June 6 this year.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentionally exposing his genitals intending to cause alarm or distress but was found guilty by Hastings magistrates at a trial in court yesterday (Tuesday, September 27).

The victim told the court: “I was in my garden having a cigarette and became aware of a movement to my right. I turned and saw Mr Fry naked apart from his shoes looking directly at me. His clothes were in a pile by his feet. He was masturbating with his right hand. When I realised what he was doing I shouted.”

Dennis Parish, of Stocks Meadow, Lower Street, who is the victim’s partner, said he heard her ‘screaming and shouting’.

He said: “I was doing some gardening and had a garden fork in my hand and suggested to Mr Fry that he’d better leave.”

He added Fry appeared ‘desensitised’ when he was standing there. Mr Parish said: “I have never felt so enraged in all of my life.”

In a statement read out to the court, PC Steven Lodge said Fry was ‘extremely drunk’ when he visited him following the incident.

“This was evidenced by his unsteadiness and slurred speech,” he added.

Fry, who works at Lewes Prison, said he was at his friend John White’s house drinking whisky.

He said he had drunk one or two cans of Stella Artois earlier that day, as well as the whisky.

Fry said: “I was off work that day because of fatigue and a minor ankle injury. All I can remember is Mr Parish telling me I’d better leave.

“I put my hands up in the air because I didn’t want any confrontation and walked off. I can’t remember taking my clothes off at all. When police came I was shocked and embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I was capable of such a thing. The drink had a devastating effect on me.

“It was only after I saw the full statements that I resigned to the fact I’d behaved that way. I would never wish to cause anyone alarm or distress.”

Madeleine Priestly, defending, said: “This clearly was a one-off situation brought about by a unique set of circumstances.”

Magistrates gave Fry an 18-month conditional discharge, ordered £660 costs, £100 compensation and a £20 victim surcharge.

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