Woman ‘drank herself silly’ before stripping off in South Shields town centre

A woman stripped off and “strutted around” in a town centre street after downing six litres of cider.

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Lindsey Smith “drank herself silly” then removed her clothes in a busy public street in South Shields last July.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the area was full of people visiting the nearby pubs and shops at the time, including children.

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Prosecutor Emma Hughes told the court Smith had been involved in trouble with another woman earlier that day and been removed from the area by the police.

But she returned at around 6.40pm that evening, carrying a bottle of cider and sat down on a seat at Mile End Road, in direct view of two pubs.

Prosecutor Emma Hughes told the court: “She began removing her own clothing. Firstly her top, exposing her breasts.

Newcastle Crown CourtNewcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court

“A witness saw this and shouted ‘sort yourself out’.

“The defendant was described sitting down, laughing, before removing her bottoms, exposing her vagina and bottom.

“She shouted ‘I couldn’t give a f***’.

“The police arrived, she dressed herself and was arrested.”

The shocking display was captured on CCTV.

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One witness told police afterwards: “This incident made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I was conscious there were children around and I was worried about what they were seeing.”

Another man who saw what happened said he was “uncomfortable and shocked”.

Smith, 45, of Albion Court, South Shields, who has convictions for 88 previous offences, admitted outraging public decency.

Fiona Lamb, defending, said the video of the incident was “not particularly enjoyable viewing” and it was not “normal or healthy behaviour”.

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Miss Lamb said alcohol problems are often linked to mental health.

Judge Paul Sloan KC said: “She had drank herself silly that day. I appreciate she has an alcohol problem but she drank far more than she needed to sate her craving for alcohol.”

The judge said Smith had confessed to drinking six litres of cider that day and told her: “You were removed your clothing, strutted around laughing and using foul language before exposing your naked body to those in the vicinity, this included children and some of those children were as young as nine or 10.”

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Judge Sloan said Smith, who was assessed by a psychiatrist prior to the sentence hearing, was disadvantaged in her early years, has been the victim of domestic violence and was suffering a psychotic illness at the time of the offences.

But the judge added: “The doctor has stated he found no evidence that your mental health symptoms had a significant impact on you at the material time.

“There is no evidence you were acting upon delusions or hallucinations. It is his view the offence appears to have arisen against a background of difficulties you were experiencing with another female, which led you to become angry, distressed and disinhibited, exacerbated by being under the influence of alcohol.

“Your mental health issues do not reduce your culpability for your actions.”

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The judge sentenced Smith to a community order for 18 months with rehabilitation requirements and £200 costs and warned Smith:

“Unless and until you are prepared to take responsibility for your actions and make use of professional help, which is available to you and being offered to you, the future is extremely bleak and you have only yourself to blame.”