Martin Gregory Coll, a 52-year-old from Derry, Northern Ireland was arrested on Saturday after he was caught doing the dirty with a Serta* in the parking lot of an assisted-living center. He couldn't hear the officers approaching because the porn on his handheld DVD player was apparently at the highest volume setting.
While this story may appear funny at first (come on, a dude fucking a mattress?), reading The Mirror's report on Coll actually turns into something very sad. Coll, who is homeless and has been convicted of 72 offenses (including four that are of an unidentified sexual nature) couldn't find lodging at a hostel (due to the fact that he is a registered sex offender) and received his 73rd and 74th charges because he needed a place to sleep (and masturbate). Why he chose the parking lot of a retirement home on Asylum road, however, is anyone's guess. Perhaps it was warm, or perhaps he had already noticed that there was a mattress left there. In any case, it was an awful place to masturbate to pornography because the police saw him enter the lot.
From The Mirror:
"He went to the rear car park which is used by staff and by residents. Officers went to check and when they arrived they heard what they described as sex sounds emanating from behind a fence in the car park. He had a handheld DVD player with the volume turned loud.
"He was laying on a mattress naked from the waist down with his trousers and underwear down by his ankles and he was simulating sex with the mattress. A number of residents in the old peoples' home were awake at the time but they did not want to make a statement to the police."
Coll was just granted a suspended sentence the week before after stealing charity boxes from a bus station. He is now being charged with indecent behavior and "committing an act of lewd, obscene and disgusting nature and of outraging public decency by watching pornography in a public place and with having simulated sex with a mattress while naked."
As The Mirror points out, Coll's crime is strange, but it also reinforces the fact that there aren't enough services for people who have been recently incarcerated, and that there needs to be more transitional housing (and, presumably, support programs) for people who are readjusting to life in the community.
Coll will appear in court this Thursday.
*Probably not actually a Serta.
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