A man from Somerset found guilty of harassing women while wearing a Gimp suit

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A man from Somerset found guilty of harassing women while wearing a Gimp suit
A man who scared female drivers by dressing in a gimp suit has been found guilty of intentionally causing harassment, anxiety, or distress.

One woman reported seeing Claverham resident Joshua Hunt, 32, writhing on the ground, while another claimed to have been left sobbing and shaking after their meeting.

The incidents, according to Bristol Magistrates' Court, happened at Bleadon, Somerset, on May 7 and 9.

Self-employed as a gardener, Hunt had refuted the accusations.

In addition to paying £200 in compensation to each of his victims and £620 in prosecution costs, he was fined £100.

Man dressed as a gimp


The "Somerset Gimp" has been the subject of multiple reports, including this one from 2019.

Shortly after the second incident, Hunt is reported to have told police, "I am not a gimp; I do not own a gimp suit." He was taken into custody. I'm not dressed like a goof."

Driver Lucy Lodge said she had "never seen anything like this before" in a written statement.

She claimed that she was afraid and couldn't sleep because she thought she was going to be kidnapped.

sketched face on a mask

Avon, Sommerset Police, and Image Source

In an interview with police, Hunt said that issues with his medicine had put his mental state in "crisis".

Ms. Lodge claimed to have seen something moving on the ground while traveling home down Bleadon's Accommodation Road.

"He was writhing and crawling as if in a military fashion," she continued.

"I noticed that the individual had a mask on their face and was dressed in really tight, dark clothes. The mask had two white crosses in place of the eyes and was quite tight and black."
e claimed that "it could be a possible abduction" was her initial thought.

"It was terrifying although I had only seen them for a few seconds," she stated.

"The entire thing seemed so bizarre, and I started doubting my own perception of what I was witnessing.

"When I got home I was breathing heavily and I was having a borderline panic attack."

Passenger Martin Mills, who was in the vicinity as Ms. Lodge was driving, reported witnessing a man "commando crawling" on the ground.

"I can see they were all in black and shiny and the car lights were reflecting off him," stated the man.

24 hours later, on May 9, just after midnight, Samantha Brown reported seeing a man wearing all black and a face mask while driving home from work with her sister-in-law and another coworker.

"My sister-in-law shouted when I saw them. He leaped to the side of my car as I had to accelerate to get past them, the statement read.

"I was in complete dread when I saw the person.

"I was scared by this person - anything could have happened and they had their hands behind their back and they could have been holding anything."

Police responded to Bleadon after receiving reports of the second incident and pulled up a white Berlingo van that was reversing in a field.

Police discover masks

Avon, Sommerset Police, and Image Source

image description

Masks were painted with faces using neon white paint.

Hunt was wearing black hooded top and grey pants when PC Declan Coppock met with him and took him into custody, according to the court.

"I noticed his skin was extremely wet and damp - suggesting he had been lying on the side of the road," stated the cop.

He claimed that Hunt remarked to him, "I am not a dangerous person; I am just a regular person with a few issues."

Hunt was discovered to be without a T-shirt or underpants during a search, and his van contained a number of soaking black garments, women's tights, face masks, and gloves.

Additionally, there was neon white paint for mask drawing.

Authorities also discovered a notebook in which Hunt had penned a narrative about a man named Jack who buys a white-painted mask and a black rubber suit.

In 2022 and 2023, he had also looked up information about the "Somerset Gimp" and the "Gimp of Cleeve" online, the court heard.

"Traumatic mental state"

In an interview with police, Hunt said that issues with his medicine had put his mental state in "crisis".

"I am crying out for help and need help with my mental health," he stated.

Hunt admitted to being in a "very traumatic state of mind" in May to the court.

"I hated myself with the way I looked and the way I am and everything about me," he stated to the jury.

He claimed that he used to go out at night and dress in black in order to go "mudding," a sport in which he would cover himself in mud due to his "self-loathing."

He said, "I apologize to those people." "I agree what I was doing was frightening but hand on my heart I never intended to cause them harassment, alarm or distress."

Before Hunt's trial, District Judge Joanna Dickens acknowledged that he had already been detained for a month on remand.

She emphasized that this was more of a punishment than any sentence she could give.

"I accept that you have already received punishment and spent time in prison and lost your good character in a very public way and no doubt affecting you for the remainder of your life," she said.