The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
19°C | 9°C
18°C | 9°C
19°C | 9°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Medway News Article
by Dan Bloom
Five-foot transvestite Paul Reed disguised himself as an old lady to get close to a young woman at a bus station.
But he found himself in trouble when his distressed victim looked him up online.
She found a court had banned the 51-year-old from using his alias to deceive young women and girls.
Now Reed (pictured left) has been hauled back before a judge for his 15th breach of the order, but will still be allowed to cross-dress if he only talks to women he knows.
Judge Michael O'Sullivan said: "He can dress as a woman, he has a right to dress as a woman if he so wishes. What he must not do is try to bring himself into the trust of females."
Reed, of Albany Road, Chatham, was first given a sexual offences prevention order in 2007 when he was sentenced for crimes including sexual activity with an underage girl.
Despite breaching the order several times, including in an undercover police sting, it was relaxed so Reed could wear women's clothes if he did not use them as a disguise.
Canterbury Crown Court heard he did just that - sidling up to a young professional waiting for a bus in Chatham on October 11.
Wearing a woman's overcoat, mittens and a scarf pulled up over his mouth, he asked her if she worked at the Eagle Tavern in Rochester - which she did not - then talked about the weather.
Jim Harvey, prosecuting, said: "She initially assumed the person who sat down next to her was a woman.
"The defendant opened a lady's umbrella and tried to persuade the victim to nestle under the umbrella with him. When she pointed out it wasn't raining, he said the wind would get them."
The experience rang alarm bells so, with a friend, the victim found a report about Reed, previously of Clements Close, Canterbury, on a news website.
She rang police, telling them: "The whole incident has made me feel really quite uncomfortable and uneasy, even though the person hadn't touched me apart from leaning up against me."
Just six days later, Reed was spotted in the same clothes at Chatham railway station by a police officer.
The judge said: "You are easily recognisable. It comes of your height."
On Halloween, after he was arrested and bailed, Reed was detained at the Thomas Ingoldsby pub in Canterbury for pestering women.
A psychiatric report said Reed had obssessive behaviour triggered by feeling inadequate about his height.
Kieran Brand, defending, said: "This is behaviour that started around the age of 10 and this man is now 51 years of age.
"This behaviour is going to take some time before it's completely eradicated."
"it's not sexually motivated but simply a lonely man receiving attention from a person in the street...” – kieran brand, defending
Mr Brand said Reed did not feel comfortable around men, who had mocked him about his height, instead seeking solace from women.
He was now enrolled on a college course and making friends, Mr Brand said, adding: "It's not sexually motivated but simply a lonely man receiving attention from a person in the street."
Reed, who pleaded guilty to two breaches of a sexual offences prevention order, was given nine months' prison suspended for two years.
He will also be given a curfew and fitted with an electronic tag for four months.
The judge told him: "I want to make it absolutely clear that if you offend again, not only will you be punished for that offending, but probably, as near as can be said, the suspended sentence order will be put into operation."
Click here for more news from Medway.
Click here for more news from around the county.