Man in court for parading around Freston churchyard with poppy wreath on his head before exposing himself in church porch

St Peter's Church, Freston

St Peter's Church, Freston - Credit:

A 40-year-old man exposed himself in a church porch after parading around the churchyard with a poppy wreath from a war memorial on his head, a court heard.

Toby Millett, pleaded guilty to engaging in indecent behaviour at St Peter’s Church, Freston, near Ipswich, in the early hours of Sunday, December 21.

However, Millett denied the prosecution’s allegation that he picked up the wreath from the war memorial, claiming it had been on a bench and that he would not be so disrespectful as to have grabbed it off a memorial.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard Millett, of River View Road, Harkstead, had 185 previous offences on his record.

Shelley Drew, representing Millett, said: “Sadly this is a bit of drunk stupidity that took place in the early hours of the morning that unfortunately has placed him in this position of being before the court.

“Alcohol in his words some time ago to me is his rampant beguiler.

“Alcohol is something that takes hold of him and it’s then he commits these silly offences.

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“He accepts his alcohol intake is getting out of control again. He had it under control previously.”

Mrs Drew said Millett had gone into the churchyard when he was drunk looking for water. He said he saw the wreath on a bench and while nobody else was around he performed what she described as “these stupid acts”.

She added: “It is certainly not something he would have considered doing if he had not been drunk or if it was not in the early hours of the morning.”

The court was told Millett had wondered if the church’s CCTV would be checked when he did it.

Previously prosecutor Colette Harper said the church warden at St Peter’s had cause to check CCTV overlooking the graveyard and church porch area.

He saw a man caught on camera at 1.39am who he immediately identified.

The man took a wreath from the war memorial and was walking around with it on his head and was seen to fiddle with his trouser. He went out of view for a short time but a security light came on.

The man was then seen to enter the church porch with his trousers and pants down, but the wreath was no longer on his head, Mrs Harper said.

Millett was arrested on January 3.

He admitted to police it was him who was on the CCTV.

The offence put Millett in breach of a 12-month conditional discharge for criminal damage which he received on September 29 last year.

Magistrates adjourned the case until February 3 for a pre-sentence report.