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Ex-PCSO fined £1 for indecent sex act

PUBLISHED: 18:12 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:57 12 August 2010

THE boss of a charity for victims of sexual assault has slammed a judge for fining a former police community support officer just £1 for indecent exposure.

THE boss of a charity for victims of sexual assault has slammed a judge for fining a former police community support officer just £1 for indecent exposure.

Phil Linton, 45, of Belmont Park, Lewisham, was found guilty of indecent exposure at Croydon Crown Court on Friday, October 10, but only received a penalty of £1 after he was allegedly seen performing a sex act on himself in Penge High Street.

Malcolm Gilbert, general manger of Family Matters, a charity for victims of sexual abuse in Bromley, said: "If we are going to convict people the punishment should fit the offence

"The £1 seems derisory to the potential damage that could have been caused and the antisocial behaviour involved.

"It sends out a less than positive message which says: 'you can do this with no real punishment.'

"There should have been a stricter sentence, especially for someone who is in a position of trust. My concern is for the damage that could have been done to anyone passing by."

Indecent exposure can result in up to two years in prison but until four years ago it was not even defined as a sexual offence.

Criminologist Jane Monckton-Smith said: "It's a far more dangerous phenomenon than people admit. It's seen as a bit of a joke, or just something that some men 'do' but it can be very frightening for victims."

On the morning of December 1, 2006, a woman said she spotted Linton performing a sex act on himself while he sat in his car.

The woman, who lived in a flat above the road where Linton's car was parked, called the police, but by the time they arrived a bus had pulled up and he had stopped what he was doing and driven off.

The woman had taken his registration number and police traced the car to

Linton.

He was arrested on January 10 for indecent exposure and later charged. Linton claimed he had a weak bladder and was urinating in a bottle.

Linton was a PCSO at Brixton police when he was arrested on December 1, 2006.

He was suspended on full pay and eventually resigned on April 13, 2007.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £500.

Anyone who has suffered sexual assault, abuse or rape can call the Family Matters helpline on 01474 537 392.

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