Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Vigilante who filmed men cottaging is spared jail

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Who actually saw these guys apart from him? In what sense were they ‘in public’? Is his keyboard a bit sticky?

  2. Pumpkin Pie 19 May 2009, 11:52am

    Ah, the excuses these kinky voyeurs come up with… ;)

  3. David Skinner 19 May 2009, 11:56am

    Beautiful, Colin, my man. I’m proud of you. What’s the name of the website? I want to watch. (I luuuuurve watching. When I’m not blithering on about Jesus and all the other shite, I really get a kick out of going down the local woods and watching the guys getting down to it.)

  4. John (Derbyshire 19 May 2009, 12:55pm

    David- police actually get PAID for trying to catch blokes “in the act”. They regulary patrol lay byes and woodland in the hope of seeing gay men having a bit.I believe even some kinky firemen ahve been known to shine their lights into bushes in the hope of getting a thrill!

  5. This twat should have seen sentenced to charity work for the next 10 years, as he clearly has a lot of wasted energy and time to spare.

  6. Oh, and John, “David Skinner” is one of those silly little people who think its “clever” to come into a gay site and demonstrate his diminished intellect and 1830 era prejudices. A religious fool and a pathetic man, by all accounts.

    God knows what he’s trying to achieve here with his silly comments. Its not like he’s going to make us change our mind, only resolve us to get MORE rights. And those rights just keep on coming, don’t they? Ireland is getting ready to pass its Civil Partnership legislation soon. Another notch to the bed post, eh?

    How brave David must be in the real world. No doubt he’s a spineless cretin who’s only outlet is the ‘safe’ internet, and afraid to say boo to anyone on the street. Don’t bother to respond to him, no doubt he’s looking for the site to have a few cheap thrills like all sub-human religious fanatics.

  7. Simon Murphy 19 May 2009, 2:02pm

    I’m glad he was not jailed. I mean if gay men want to have sex in public then they can hardly start complaining that someone not be allowed to film in public. True this guy filmed someone going to the toilet which was his error. Outdoor cruising is not a ‘right’. It is not necessary to engage in cruising to meet partners. Therefore people who engage in it are doing it as they get a kick out of it. The kick that some men get from cruising outdoors is not is any way more honourable than the kick another man gets out of filming them.

  8. I’m not entirely sure if this will be considered kosher to my fellow LGBT people in the United Kingdom, and I’m not certain of the particular laws of the U.K. on this issue. But as someone living in the United States, if this were happening here, it would probably be illegal to do such filming in a public toilet, but out in public lands (such as forests) there is no legal expectation of privacy. Now, it is rude to intrude on the business of other people as a matter of etiquette. That said, I could possibly buy that, say, if the man was on a camping trip with children, he might not want them to encounter and witness someone having sex out and about in broad daylight. However, I doubt he himself has a reasonable expectation to prevent other adult citizens to do as they wish consentingly. It’s practically cliche for people to have sex while camping (usually in their tent), but if someone wants to find an undisturbed isolated spot among the trees and bushes, I would think that’s just part of what one could expect out in the wilderness like that. One should also not assume by default that they’re cottaging – they could reasonably be a couple. Less likely in a public toilet than in the forest, but still.

  9. BrazilGayScene 19 May 2009, 3:16pm

    There is a recent law in the UK regarding voyeurs, and it is illegal to ‘watch’ someone engaging in a sexual act that they reasonably consider to be out of the public gaze. (so in the middle of a soccer field would not count, but in the middle of bushes may well count).

    This man though did ‘not intend to cause distress’?? then what did he think posting people on the internet would cause? Did he also cover the popular heterosexual pastime of ‘dogging’? (having public sex in cars etc)…or was it just gays he was going after? We already know the answer.

    As for there being ‘no need’ for such activities…well, it’s okay for the well-to-do gays who live in the gay areas, with plenty of gay friends and facilities… but what is it like for those who are isolated and live in places with little or no gay scene?

    Although I do not do it now…(I live in Brazil), I grew up in a small, basically homophobic town in the north of England. As a teenager, my ONLY outlet, and way of meeting other people, was to ‘cottage’ and cruise the public parks where gay sex occurred.

    So please, let’s not look down on such people from our moral gay high ground….’There but for the grace’ etc…

  10. Simon Murphy 19 May 2009, 3:58pm

    #9 Brazilgayscene: You say…

    “This man though did ‘not intend to cause distress’?? then what did he think posting people on the internet would cause?”

    Sorry but if someone chooses to engage in public cottaging (whether it be the gay version or the straight ‘dogging version) then he has no excuse to whine if someone engages in public filming. It’s a hypocritical double standard. If it’s OK to hook up with someone in public then equally it’s OK to film a public place regardless of what they are engaged in. If they want privacy they should get a room.

    “As for there being ‘no need’ for such activities…well, it’s okay for the well-to-do gays who live in the gay areas, with plenty of gay friends and facilities… but what is it like for those who are isolated and live in places with little or no gay scene?”

    The internet? With the advent of the internet there is absolutely no reason on earth why any gay man is obliged to go cruising. Gay men cruise because they get a kick out of it. There is no other reason these days.

    ublic is not a necess

  11. “Pat Walsh, chairman of the bench, told Haw: “Your actions were 1)premeditated and quite deliberate in targeting a group of people we would describe as vulnerable.”

    Since when did cottaging men become a ‘vulnerable’ group?

    2)If you do it in public… Don’t complain if the public watch you.

  12. BrazilGayScene 19 May 2009, 5:39pm

    Simon, your point about the internet is a mute one. I said access to other gay people for those in isolated areas… this is not the same as in the ‘cyber world’. I mean REAL access. I already explained how this related to me, years ago in similar circumstances, perhaps you missed that?

    And with regard to the ‘all’s fair in love, war, and voyeurism’ part, again, I think you’ll find it isn’t. There is now laws against this in the UK. You CANNOT film people having sex, even in a public place, now without their consent. So, it may be ‘fair’ as you put it, but it’s still illegal ;-)

  13. Cottaging and cruising are two different things. I notice this man did not film heterosexual couples doing the same thing. They do, most often in the same places. ALSO he was complained about by a fellow heterosexual, NOT by any of the people cruising. I like sex in the outdoors; it is natural. I try to find a quiet spot to do it out of general sight and think that if someone wanted to film it then they should at least ask me, and pay me, before publishing it on a website.

  14. BrazilGayScene 19 May 2009, 5:55pm

    Further:

    It is the ‘Sexual Offences Act 2003′ and it is as follows:

    67 Voyeurism

    (1) A person commits an offence if—

    (a) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he observes another person doing a private act, and

    (b) he knows that the other person does not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.

    (2) A person commits an offence if—

    (a) he operates equipment with the intention of enabling another person to observe, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, a third person (B) doing a private act, and

    (b) he knows that B does not consent to his operating equipment with that intention.

    (3) A person commits an offence if—

    (a) he records another person (B) doing a private act,

    (b) he does so with the intention that he or a third person will, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, look at an image of B doing the act, and

    (c) he knows that B does not consent to his recording the act with that intention.

    (4) A person commits an offence if he instals equipment, or constructs or adapts a structure or part of a structure, with the intention of enabling himself or another person to commit an offence under subsection (1).

    (5) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

    (a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

    (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

    68 Voyeurism: interpretation

    (1) For the purposes of section 67, a person is doing a private act if the person is in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy, and—

    (a) the person’s genitals, buttocks or breasts are exposed or covered only with underwear,

    (b) the person is using a lavatory, or

    (c) the person is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.

    So “equally it’s OK to film a public place regardless of what they are engaged in.”

    No…it isn’t.

  15. Will said: “I notice this man did not film heterosexual couples doing the same thing.” Good thought, Will.

    “Dogging” is now quite a sport amongst heterosexuals in the UK. I came across a dogging site (in a forest) by accident when looking for a new house. (The lane to the house I was interested in passed right through the dogging area – this was down near Dover in a bay called St. Margaret’s.) Anyway, back to the things that heterosexuals do in public . . . having come across an actual physical dogging site I looked up “dogging” on the web out of interest and ended up on a site full of pictures of men and women doing it with each other and watching each other in various isolated car-parks or picnic areas in secluded areas all over the UK! What an eye-opener. I don’t believe there is anything so extraordinary to be witnessed amongst gay men. There are endless pictures of women sucking cock, or turning to the camera having done the deed and now with cum dribbling all over their faces! Dogging seems to be quite an extraordinary exhibitionist fetish. The personal ads on the site were also informative. Couples advertise, saying they will be at a particular place at a particular time and what it is they want to happen. Or guys will advertise their girls or wives, promising to turn up with them in order to photograph other guys doing prescribed things to them.

    So, yes, good point. Let no one think that it’s just gay men who enjoy sex au naturel!

  16. Funny how he only went to film gay guys ‘at it’ in the woods. Has nobody told him that it isn’t just gay, but also STRAIGHT people who get up to such shenanigans in parks.

    My feeling is this, if two people of any sex want to get down and dirty in an empty park late at night – well good luck to them. It really is none of my business.

    So, yes, if we need a ‘clean up’ we’d better film the straight people at it too – or is it OK for straight people to do it??

    Many gay guys think it’s only gays who do this, but in reality there’s a lot of straights do it too. It’s apparently quite the thing these days to film it (if you are straight), and send the film to friends!!!!!!????

    God, these straight people, why do they have to keep ramming it down our throats about their sexuality – I mean I don’t have anything against straights, but I do wish they’d shut up about it, and keep it firmly behind closed doors.

    I’ll probably get criticised now for being heterophobic.

  17. Oh and just a point for any heteros reading this, most gay guys don’t ever have sex in toilets OR parks. Just so you know.

  18. Do people like the guy convicted in court take films of gay men ‘at it’ then go home and have a w*nk over the film. I mean seriously, you have to wonder what would motivate someone to get camouflage gear, and balaclavas, and dress up and go into the woods at night, in secret, hiding and filming men having sex secretly.

    To me that is the really obvious question, isn’t it??

  19. Simon, I disagree with your postings. There is a big difference between posting up footage of someone on a public internet site to humiliate someone, and guys having sex in bushes. Yes, the latter may be “public” but you’d really have to go out of your way to find them. The two things are substantially different.

    You also say that there’s no need for people to go cruising these days. I disagree again. I know quite a few gay men who cannot afford access to computers and internet. I also know men who are closetted and would be scared to go on cruising websites and create profiles in case they were discovered by their families. For them, anonymous cruising is their only option for sex.

    You say that gay men cruise because they get a kick out of it. How do you know this? Have you interviewed every single gay man who cruises? Don’t assume that everyone who has sex with men in public is the same or doing it for the same reasons. They’re not.

  20. Yes, I’ve long had the impression that orientation is no statistical factor in who does or does not do these things in public places.

  21. Simon Murphy 20 May 2009, 10:00am

    #12: Brazilgayscene: You say:

    “Simon, your point about the internet is a mute one. I said access to other gay people for those in isolated areas… this is not the same as in the ‘cyber world’. I mean REAL access. I already explained how this related to me, years ago in similar circumstances, perhaps you missed that?”

    Anyone with a computer (regardless of how isolated their address is) has the capability of accessing ‘real’ people if they wish. Go to gaydar or any number of gay dating sites and you’ll be able to connect to people in your area. If you want to meet them in person then make a date to meet in a coffeeshop or bar. I don’t know how things were in the past but for the past 10 years ANYONE can connect to other gay people online. Even in poorer countries there are internet cafes. No-one is limited to meeting people in parks or bushes.

  22. Simon Murphy 20 May 2009, 10:05am

    #18: J Matthews: you say:

    “Do people like the guy convicted in court take films of gay men ‘at it’ then go home and have a w*nk over the film. I mean seriously, you have to wonder what would motivate someone to get camouflage gear, and balaclavas, and dress up and go into the woods at night, in secret, hiding and filming men having sex secretly.”

    I agree. Although it’s not as odd as a sane man going to the park late at night to hook up with random strangers for a shag. I mean why would ANYONE take such a risk with their personal safety like that? It’s beyond stupid when you realise that there are other options for meeting people.

  23. Simon Murphy 20 May 2009, 10:16am

    #19: Tom: you say:

    “Simon, I disagree with your postings. There is a big difference between posting up footage of someone on a public internet site to humiliate someone, and guys having sex in bushes. Yes, the latter may be “public” but you’d really have to go out of your way to find them. The two things are substantially different.”

    Perhaps. But the guy with the camera has the same right to be in the park as the guys cruising. You do accept that don’t you? And as it’s public space he is absolutely entitled to film whatever he wants. Unless you think that someone’s civil rights be suppressed to allow 2 other guys to have a shag in a public space.

    “You also say that there’s no need for people to go cruising these days. I disagree again. I know quite a few gay men who cannot afford access to computers and internet. I also know men who are closetted and would be scared to go on cruising websites and create profiles in case they were discovered by their families. For them, anonymous cruising is their only option for sex.”

    Oh cry me a river. It costs £1 an hour to use an internet cafe. ANYONE can afford that. As for being worried about using a cruising website or being disowned by their families for being gay – well people who use this as an excuse for cruising must be pretty thick if they think that being caught in a bush with their pants down will bring huge pride to their families either.

    “You say that gay men cruise because they get a kick out of it. How do you know this? Have you interviewed every single gay man who cruises?”

    No but I know that every single gay man on the planet has options other than going to a cruising park if he wants to hook up with someone. And don’t pretend otherwise. Go to an internet cafe. Spend £1 and log on.

    Cruising has nothing to do with gay rights. It is to do with the desire by some people to have anonymous encounters outdoors. Which is fine. I have no moral judgement on that. But I totally refect the idea that cruising is a ‘right’ or a gay rights issue.

  24. BrazilGayScene 20 May 2009, 11:17am

    Simon: “But the guy with the camera has the same right to be in the park as the guys cruising. You do accept that don’t you? And as it’s public space he is absolutely entitled to film whatever he wants. Unless you think that someone’s civil rights be suppressed to allow 2 other guys to have a shag in a public space.”

    Sorry, but did you not read my earlier comment?? Did you not read the Sexual Offences Act? Can I make this any clearer?, or are you still going to simply repeat something that is untrue again? NO HE DOES NOT!

    Please, for anyone thinking of doing such a thing, you CANNOT film people, in a public place or not, against their will, having sex!

    YOU ARE LIABLE TO GO TO PRISON FOR ANYTHING UP TO TWO YEARS!

    And as for meeting other people without the need to go cruising… You are quite correct. (However judgmental) When I was a teenager growing up in the north, there was not the possibility of the internet. Now there is. Granted. So yes, it’s largely a choice thing. It can be a risky pastime and that’s no mistake.

    However, again, just as you can be arrested for having sex in a ‘public’ place, you can also be arrested (and imprisoned) for photographing and videoing people doing so.

  25. BrazilGayScene 20 May 2009, 11:24am

    Simon: You also ignore the main thrust of the news article, reported in Pink News. This ‘person’ set himself up as a vigilante, dressed in cammo gear, along with his little group, and aimed his activities at gay men. (not heteros engaged in similar activities), this does make me wonder as to his motives?

    And he was caught, and taken to court, when he filmed a solo motorcyclist ‘going to the toilet’ in woodland near a lay-by, and NOT having sex.

    This man was an out of control twat frankly, and was extremely lucky (as confirmed by the magistrates comments) to have escaped jail for his activities.

  26. I was aware of the layby(s) in this sordid case as I live close to the area. I saw the videos posted on this mans site and even in the safety of my own home I felt terrified. For men wearing balaclava’s ..behaving in a disgusting homophobic manner to their *cameraman* brought back memories of the 1960’s.

    The Police took this matter very seriously..and I for one cannot believe he got off with a suspended 4 month sentence. The days of *queer bashing* I thought were over. Remember these pictures were seen around the world.

    The laws on homophobia have changed now thank goodness in our favour. I was the target of such abuse and the guy responsible after months of pleading Not Guilty changed it on his lawyers advice. He went to prison for a long time. For the first time in years I felt *safe*.

    I might also add the Police throughout all of this gave me support and guidance. That in itself made me strong to go through a long period of time before the case actually reached court.

    TomLincs.

  27. Simon you need to get out of your little gay bubble, stop buying into the lifestyle marketing and realise that the gay scene and online dating sites are not everyone’s cup of tea. Quite apart from the fact that the uncomfortable truth (for you) is that it’s possible to meet more sexy men face to face in one nights cruising that in a year on Gaydar or Fitlads. Those sites are a paradise for timewasters and game players.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all