A pervert has been jailed for 24 weeks after admitting to watching women and girls on the toilet in busy Wigan locations.
Haben Mihretab, 20, of Enfield Street in Pemberton, appeared before Wigan and Leigh magistrates this week after pleading guilty to three counts of “observing a person doing a private act”.
Mihretab, from Eritrea in North Africa, attended his sentencing hearing with a translator who explained to him that he would be jailed for eight weeks for each offence.
Prosecutor Nicola Yeadon told the court how Mihretab had “violated” two young women in The Moon Under Water on Wallgate back in May when he got into the female toilets and hid in an empty cubicle in the middle of the two stalls occupied by the friends.
One of the women heard “rustling” and noticed someone “peering” over the top of her cubicle, but assumed it was another woman.
After leaving the toilet cubicle, the woman and her friend peered under to see what was going on, but could see nothing in the locked stall.
As they left the room, they heard the sound of a lock and turned round to see Mihretab leaving the cubicle “fastening his belt”.
The disgusted pair challenged the lurker before calling the police, but Mihretab was allowed to leave the pub.
One of the voyeur’s victims told police: “I feel really annoyed that this man can do such things to anyone.
“I don’t feel safe using public toilets anymore.
“He should be punished for what he has done. I’m concerned he would progress with his sexual fantasies to something worse.”
Magistrates heard how Mihretab’s “abhorrent” behaviour even led him to Wigan North Western train station on at least two separate occasions, once on July 11 and once on September 4 when he hid in the middle cubicle, both times at rush hour.
Mrs Yeadon described the CCTV footage, which recorded Mihretab’s lewd acts: “He can be observed looking into the other cubicles. There appears to be a young female in her school uniform still.
“Whilst there’s no complaint or statement from her she seems to be aware something has happened as she crouches down to see what’s been going on in that cubicle.”
Using CCTV footage from the train station toilets, with help from the Job Centre, Mihretab was eventually tracked down and arrested,
He admitted to watching the women for his own “sexual gratification”.
Defending, Mark Ferguson, who called his client’s behaviour “abhorrent”, said: “When I spoke to him he didn’t come across as someone who is very nonchalant and dismissive. He said he was embarrassed and felt ashamed and he used the words very taboo.”
When handing down Mihretab’s sentence, magistrate chair Mr John Mason, said: “There was deliberate entry into female toilets. There was the use on each occasion of the middle cubicle to optimise your opportunity. There was an extreme invasion of ladies’ privacy and there has been serious ongoing effects on the victims.”
Mihretab received a 24-week custodial sentence and will be made to pay £115 on release. He will also have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.