Published: 09:18, 20 June 2012
A five-foot transvestite – who dresses up as an old lady to touch women – has pleaded with a judge to help him change his ways.
Paul Reed, who has a criminal record for sex offences, had been banned from using his disguise to prey on unsuspecting women.
But Canterbury Crown Court heard that - in defiance of the order - the 50-year-old, of Clements Close, Canterbury, was spotted conning women near Maidstone and Pembury hospitals.
Now Reed, who appeared in court in a man's blue and white striped jumper, has pleaded with the judge: "I am 50 years old now and I am sick and tired of all this now.
“I don't know what it is that drives me to do this, but I need all the help I can get. I would like to apologise."
After being jailed for three years in 2009, he was made the subject of a sex offences prevention order – banning him from posing as a woman.
Abigail White, prosecuting, told how in January a nurse at Pembury Hospital was approached by Reed, who she believed to be an elderly woman who was cold.
The transvestite was wearing a woollen hat and scarf to disguise his features.
"Reed was rubbing his hands and started a conversation with the nurse about the weather and asked about her work," she said.
"Then Reed linked arms and huddled towards her and the complainant felt very uncomfortable.
"i don’t know what it is that drives me to do this but i need all the help i can get..." – defendant paul reed
"He then put up an umbrella to hide what he was doing for anyone watching and as an excuse for the nurse to get underneath.
"Fortunately a bus arrived and the complainant got on followed by Reed. He then linked arms again making her feel very uncomfortable.
"The nurse then got off the bus in Tunbridge Wells in a bid to escape and went into Tesco's to get away.
"Although she felt uncomfortable she continued to believe it had been an old lady, albeit one that was acting very oddly. She was later very shocked when she discovered she had been touched by a man."
Earlier, Reed was spotted at Maidstone railway station and Maidstone Hospital - again posing as an old lady to talk to young girls.
He was also seen stealing a woman’s coat from a charity shop in Maidstone.
Reed, who admitted theft and breaching the court orders, then went to Pembury Hospital where he was followed into the toilets by a police officer and seen to discard the stolen coat.
When he was arrested, he told police and found to be wearing a grey hat, a long scarf covering his face and said: "I have done nothing wrong, I am wearing men’s clothes"
But police said Reed had pulled the hat over his head so all people could see "was a small area between his eyebrows and nose".
Paul Reed appeared at Canterbury Crown Court
The prosecutor said: "Some of the clothes were unisex, but it wasn't just the clothing but his demeanour, his voice speaking very softly, his body language and everything was packaged to make people feel that he was an elderly lady."
Kerry Moore, defending said: "Mr Reed has had an element of transvestism since childhood, his first memory being when he was 11. He desires to wear women's clothes.
"He now accepts he is a transvestite and regards women as the gentler sex. As a child he was bullied and wasn’t regarded as a man because of his stature.
"He does this because he seeks comfort rather than getting any sexual gratification."
But Judge Michael O'Sullivan remanded Reed into custody and adjourned sentence, asking for a probation report to examine possible treatments.
He told him: "We have to get him to stop doing this. It is upsetting to genuine people who want to help someone they perceive as an elderly woman."