Masked stranger ‘caught pleasuring himself while staring into house window at 6.30am’ in Broughshane, court is told

A man returned home from work to discover CCTV footage of a stranger masturbating while staring in a window at his unsuspecting wife, the High Court heard today.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:47 pm
A generic image of a CCTV system warning sign (not directly connected to this particular court case)

Prosecutors claimed David Mitchell, 36, was the figure who performed the early morning sex act outside the house near Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Mitchell, of Patrick Place in the town, denies a charge of outraging public decency in connection with the incident last week.

Crown lawyer Mark Conlon said the homeowner checked a bird watching-type camera when he got back from work on September 15.

The motion-sensitive system installed at his property in the Broughshane area was activated just before 6.30am.

“It showed a male who was unknown to him staring through the window, masturbating at the time,” Mr Conlon said.

“His wife was present inside the room where the window was located and unaware of anyone being outside.

“But having learnt of what was captured on the home camera she has become extremely upset and distressed.”

Police viewed the footage and arrested Mitchell based on an alleged identification of the man at the window.

A T-shirt similar to that worn by the perpetrator was located in his house, the court heard.

The defendant is also charged with possessing Class B drugs following the discovery of a small quantity of suspected cannabis.

Opposing bail, Mr Conlon said Mitchell allegedly made a two-mile journey from his own home to carry out the act.

“It paints a picture of a determined individual,” he submitted.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompon confirmed his client denies being the man on the footage.

Questioning the identification evidence, counsel argued: “It seems the person seen to be masturbating at the scene was wearing a dark coloured beanie hat and face mask.”

Lord Justice Maguire described the incident as “sinister” and upsetting for the victims.

However, he granted bail to Mitchell on terms including a curfew and electronic monitoring.

The judge also barred him from contacting the couple or going near their home.

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