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Dad jailed for luring man into Wetherspoons toilet cubicle and kissing him

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A dad-of-two who kissed a young man with autism in a Wetherspoons toilet cubicle without consent was jailed for sexual assault today. Stephen Freer, 45, of Parciau in Mynytho, Gwynedd approached his victim at the pub chain's Pen Cob site in Pwllheli last March.

Prosecutor, Simon Mintz, said the young man in his 20s was out for a meal with his family and had been to the toilets at the pub three times during his visit. Freer, who was also there on every occasion cracked a joke that the pair must have "synchronised bladders".

The court heard how Freer stood in the doorway of a cubicle whilst the victim washed his hands during the third trip to the toilets. Freer, 45, then beckoned him into the cubicle before kissing him on the lips.

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Mr Mintz said the victim was "too frightened to resist" and scared of what would happen if he didn't respond the way the dad-of-two wanted. A family member noticed the victim was "in a state of shock" after leaving the toilets alongside Freer.

Freer claimed the young man had just been sick, complaining to him about an "upset tummy". But the victim's relatives confronted the defendant, said Mr Mintz, who continued denied anything else happened in the toilets.

The victim only revealed to his family what really happened once they left the pub. The police were then informed.

Freer was arrested and at first continued to deny anything happened between the men but later admitted to the kiss but claimed to have "reasonable belief" it was consensual.

The victim's sister, through a victim impact statement, said her brother blamed himself for the incident. She went on to say that he is "reluctant to go out" and remains "anxious and distrustful" when in social situations.

Pen y Cob Wetherspoon pub at Pwllheli (Image: Daily Post Wales)

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Elen Owen, defending told the court her client had "no idea" of the victim's autism. She argued that this case did not involve a "significant degree of planning" of Freer's part, claiming that he was already in the toilets when the complainant arrived the third time, adding it was a "chance encounter" at the time the assault took place.

Freer accepted, through Ms Owen, that he'd been drinking "enough to loosen his inhibitions" that day. The barrister said that, in the sober light of day he accepted what he did was wrong.

She said: "He is not a danger to other people and has learnt his lesson. He will not repeat these out-of-character actions again."

Recorder Wyn Lloyd-Jones said he "would not be doing his job properly" if he did not send Freer straight to prison for his eight month sentence for what must have been a "frightening" experience for the victim. He told Freer that he'd also need to register as a sex offender for the next decade.


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