Indecent exposure was reported last week, when a female student at Lady Margaret Hall was left disturbed by a pervert early on May morning. The man, who is described as being in his forties and of stocky build, is said to have watched the first-year undergraduate from his car at the corner of Norham Gardens before driving slowly a short distance ahead of her. He then pulled into the pavement and descended from his car close to the college entrance, where he began to pleasure himself under a lamp-post as she walked past. No porter was on duty at 2 a.m., the time of the incident, but the head porter was informed later the same day and the police subsequently interviewed the victim on Friday. The student reported having “felt sick” and was left “disturbed” by the event. Although the police took details, the offender has apparently not been caught; nor has a younger Asian man who has reportedly been engaging in similar activities in the area. Police, however, informed the student of having recently caught a 15 year old for such an offence, although off the record one officer told her that even though incidents of this nature are common in the area, punishment is rare as courts don’t consider it to be a serious offence. The incident follows events at the end of last term in which two female students including a Cherwell staff member experienced separate similar episodes on Jowett Walk during daylight hours. More recently, two undergraduates from St. Hugh’s spotted another man masturbating on Woodstock Road early on Tuesday of 0th week, and believe he may have tried to follow them back to their college. The police were informed and the students interviewed. Others at the college claim to have spotted the same individual in similar circumstances on at least three occasions over the previous term. Norham Gardens has come under criticism in the recent past for its poor street-lighting at night, which has been accused of contributing to sporadic problems of student mugging in the area. The police were unavailable for comment with regards to incidents involving indecent exposure, although one porter at Lady Margaret Hall said that ‘flashing’ was common in the University area and definitely saw an increase in the summer sun. The victim from Lady Margaret Hall urges students to avoid walking alone at night, and that if such an event occurs, to try and take mental note of key details such as appearance and car registration without sacrificing personal safety, as this information is valuable to the police.
ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003

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