A woman police officer got a nasty shock after placing a man in the back of her patrol car to take him to hospital.
As the car was on its way to Bedford Hospital, Gabriel Matu pulled down his tracksuit bottoms to expose himself.
The first the officer knew that something was wrong was when 25 year old Matu reached forward and rubbed his wet fingers across her cheek as she was driving into the hospital’s car park.
Luton Crown Court was told the officer was left feeling disgusted, alarmed and physically sick by what he’d done.
Having got Matu out of the vehicle, the court heard he continued to masturbate in front of officers before he was arrested.
The woman police officer had to go into the hospital to find surgical wipes that she could clean her face with.
Matu, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and exposing himself.
The court heard it was late on the night of December 15 and 16 that two women officers were asked to go to the night shelter in Clarendon Street, Bedford.
Matu had turned up there but, because of his manner, he wasn’t welcome and the officers had been asked to remove him from the premises.
However, on speaking to him, they found he was uncommunicative and staring strangely.
Suspecting he might have mental health issues, Daniel Fugallo prosecuting said the two officers decided to take him to the hospital.
The court was told that Matu had previous convictions for violence and dishonesty and had been sent to a young offenders’ institute in 2009 for 42 months for a string of robberies.
Andrew Morton, defending, said mental health issues concerning his client had been identified, but providing he kept taking his medication, he was unlikely to re-offend in such a way again.
Judge Stuart Bridge sentenced him to 12 months in custody, which means because of the time he has already spent in custody, he will be freed immediately.
However the judge was keen to put in place a supervision package to help Matu.
He told the defendant that he will remain under the supervision of the probation service who will assist him.
Referring to the incident in the police car, the judge said: “It was an extremely shocking and distressing thing to have happened to the police officer”.
He said the woman officer had been left outraged by what he’d done especially because at the time she was concerned for his welfare and wanted to get him to a place of safety.
For that reason, the judge said the officer had not handcuffed him.