Loo perverts could face jail

PERVERTS who use Felixstowe's seafront loos for sex for could face a jail term of up to six months under proposed new laws published today.The government is bringing in tougher sentences for couples having sex in an outdoor public place and also for those involved in gay sex in public toilets.

PERVERTS who use Felixstowe's seafront loos for sex for could face a jail term of up to six months under proposed new laws published today.

The government is bringing in tougher sentences for couples having sex in an outdoor public place and also for those involved in gay sex in public toilets.

Felixstowe's Bath Tap lavatories have had the reputation for the best part of a century for indecent acts and parents have been extremely worried about the activities and the possible effect on their children.

Families backed by The Evening Star have been campaigning for action at the toilets on the East Beach in Undercliff Road East and refurbishment work is now taking place which should stop the problems.

But the Government's new Sexual Offences Bill, which aims to tackle people who are reckless about whether they will be seen having sex, is an added bonus.

This means that two men – one of whom was 90 – seen performing an indecent act in Felixstowe's Spa Gardens 18 months ago would have been jailed.

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Under the new law, private homes are exempt so that having sex in a private garden which can be seen from the street would be a crime, while performing the same acts in a bedroom with the curtains open would not.

The long-awaited legislation will rewrite Victorian laws on so-called "cottaging" to deal with those who have gay sex in public toilets – though unless the bill changes as it proceeds through Parliament, they may still have a defence if they ensure the cubicle door is locked.

"No-one wants to be an unwitting spectator to other people having sex in a public place," said Home Office Minister Hilary Benn.

"The circumstances that are carefully drafted here define what the activity is that would not be acceptable.

"At the same time it's not intended to catch activity which takes place in private, which is no business of anybody."

The work at the Bath Tap loos is costing £112,000 should be complete by mid-April, ready for the new season.

The scheme drawn up by Suffolk Coastal council will see the block remodelled so every toilet door will be on the outside, instead of users going into the block in the traditional way to use cubicles and latrines.

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