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Tomasz Nowak avoids jail after touching himself on packed train to Gillingham

By KentOnline reporter

A train pervert caught touching himself in his seat has been spared a one-way ticket to jail.

Despite it being the sixth time Tomasz Nowak had been caught in the act in public, a judge decided it was not the end of the line for him.

Instead, the 38-year-old Polish national was given three months' imprisonment suspended for two years - and told to seek help for his "disgusting" behaviour.

A Southeastern train. Stock image

A Southeastern train. Stock image

Nowak was travelling from London's Charing Cross station on May 13 last year when he was spotted by a startled woman rubbing himself with one hand and holding his phone in the other.

She tried to raise the alarm by shouting out to fellow passengers on the 11am train bound for Gillingham.

The shocked woman even confronted Nowak, who was sitting across the aisle from her and with other female passengers in front and behind him.

She told the court she looked at him three times because she could not believe her eyes.

Giving evidence, she said: "I said 'If I had a phone I would take a photo of you because this is illegal. You can't just have a **** on a train'.

"I said 'Seriously, what were you thinking? Did you come on the train specifically to have a **** or were you going somewhere and just thought it would be fun?'"

Dartford station

Dartford station

Nowak did his trousers back up, smiled and then apologised before getting off the train at Dartford.

The woman told the court that none of the other eight or nine passengers reacted or helped her. She reported what had happened when she reached her destination.

Prosecutor Trevor Wright said CCTV showed Nowak had walked through two empty carriages as if deliberately looking for somewhere to sit where he could be seen by other passengers.

The woman picked Nowak out of an identification procedure more than two months after the incident.

Nowak, from Mitcham in Surrey, denied outraging public decency but was convicted by a jury after just 38 minutes deliberation at Maidstone Crown Court.

During the trial they heard the married baker had a history of exposing and touching himself in view of his neighbours while standing at his front door or sitting on a garden wall, and in front of female passengers on other Southeastern trains.

"You are clearly unable for whatever reason to control your impulses, and you are clearly driven to engage in this disgusting behaviour in public before lone females for gratification or some other reason, I don't know" - Recorder David Elvin QC

He had three previous convictions for outraging public decency in 2009 and 2015, and two for exposure in 2012 and 2015 - all of which he pleaded guilty to and was either fined or given community orders.

Imposing sentence, Recorder David Elvin QC said the latest offence "passed the custody threshold" but could be suspended with the addition of 180 hours' unpaid work.

"You are clearly unable for whatever reason to control your impulses, and you are clearly driven to engage in this disgusting behaviour in public before lone females for gratification or some other reason, I don't know," he said.

Adding that the jail term would be activated if any offence was committed during the suspension period, Recorder Elvin continued: "This must provide you with the incentive to address your behaviour.

"Your counsel said you belatedly recognise the need to seek help. Both for your own sake and that of your wife and child, I suggest very strongly that you do so because if you continue with this behaviour you willundoubtedly receive an immediate custodial sentence in the future.

"This behaviour cannot continue. You must address it."

Nowak, who was living in Plumstead, south east London at the time, must also pay £1,200 court costs at £100 a month.

Maidstone Crown Court

Maidstone Crown Court

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order which imposes restrictions on his future train travel over the next five years.

Anthony Heaton-Armstrong, defending, told the court there was no psychiatric reason for Nowak behaving the way he did.

"He has a problem the majority of us don't have and has difficulty controlling himself. Although his wife isn't very impressed with the way he is behaving, they are just about together,' he said.

"He shouldn't have any difficulty with women. It's not as if he is an unattractive man. But he needs to recognise where the origins of his problem lay and devise a strategy where he can avoid temptation in the future."

Nowak told the jury the woman was telling lies about the journey that day. Speaking through an interpreter, he said: "On the train I fell asleep. I don't remember having any conversation with anybody.

"I don't know the lady, I have never seen her, I don't remember a lady who looked like her say anything to me on the train. She couldn't have spoken to me."

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