Man 'insulted by public' after he was wrongly accused of being a flasher

Bournemouth Echo: 'Man insulted by public after he was wrongly accused of being a flasher' 'Man insulted by public after he was wrongly accused of being a flasher'

A MAN with learning disabilities says he was called names in public after being wrongly suspected of being a flasher.

Police issued a picture of Jonathan Toms last August after receiving reports that a man had exposed himself to a woman and her four-year-old son on the seafront at Canford Cliffs.

They have since decided no offence was committed.

Mr Toms said the episode “caused me distress”.

Speaking through the learning disabilities charity Bournemouth People First, he said he had been “called names by the public” in the wake of the episode.

Police had said in their original appeal for information that the alleged indecent exposure had happened in the Canford Cliffs area on Sunday, August 25. They said a 34-year-old woman had been walking with her son when the incident happened near public toilets on Pinecliff Road, near Branksome Chine beach.

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said no action was being taken against anyone and the force no longer believed an offence was committed.

Paul Thomas, learning disability adviser with Bournemouth People First – a ‘speaking up’ group for adults with learning disabilities – said: “We have a successful scheme which supports victims of crime through the criminal justice system.

“In Jonathan’s case it was more a question of redressing an injustice and supporting him to get his voice heard.”

Comments (17)

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7:42am Mon 3 Feb 14

EGHH says...

I hope the police pay him compensation for the distress their action has caused this chap.
I hope the police pay him compensation for the distress their action has caused this chap. EGHH

8:06am Mon 3 Feb 14

funkyferret says...

EGHH wrote:
I hope the police pay him compensation for the distress their action has caused this chap.
Why should the police pay compensation?
They were acting upon information from a member of the public, and had a legal duty to act & investigate. This chap has been found to have no case to answer to after a thorough investigation.
The police themselves did not witness the incident, and it appears he wasn't even arrested.
If they do not investigate matters such as this what DO you expect them to do?
[quote][p][bold]EGHH[/bold] wrote: I hope the police pay him compensation for the distress their action has caused this chap.[/p][/quote]Why should the police pay compensation? They were acting upon information from a member of the public, and had a legal duty to act & investigate. This chap has been found to have no case to answer to after a thorough investigation. The police themselves did not witness the incident, and it appears he wasn't even arrested. If they do not investigate matters such as this what DO you expect them to do? funkyferret

9:12am Mon 3 Feb 14

skydriver says...

funkyferret wrote:
EGHH wrote:
I hope the police pay him compensation for the distress their action has caused this chap.
Why should the police pay compensation?
They were acting upon information from a member of the public, and had a legal duty to act & investigate. This chap has been found to have no case to answer to after a thorough investigation.
The police themselves did not witness the incident, and it appears he wasn't even arrested.
If they do not investigate matters such as this what DO you expect them to do?
Then why issue a photo that was only THOUGHT to be the man in question.
I think this is very similar to the incident in Bristol or was it Bath when a school teach was accused,of killing a young lady, only later to be found completely innocent. I think that man acquired a very good payout from the police.
Always best to check the facts.
[quote][p][bold]funkyferret[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]EGHH[/bold] wrote: I hope the police pay him compensation for the distress their action has caused this chap.[/p][/quote]Why should the police pay compensation? They were acting upon information from a member of the public, and had a legal duty to act & investigate. This chap has been found to have no case to answer to after a thorough investigation. The police themselves did not witness the incident, and it appears he wasn't even arrested. If they do not investigate matters such as this what DO you expect them to do?[/p][/quote]Then why issue a photo that was only THOUGHT to be the man in question. I think this is very similar to the incident in Bristol or was it Bath when a school teach was accused,of killing a young lady, only later to be found completely innocent. I think that man acquired a very good payout from the police. Always best to check the facts. skydriver

9:40am Mon 3 Feb 14

Uptonian2 says...

This highlights the need to refrain from releasing names and/or Photo's and that's regardless if the paper thinks you need to know, it's a cop out from a paper looking for sensationalism because they know it's what the local people want to see.

Thousands of innocent people across the country have their name printed in the paper even before a trial.

You remember the guy who was accused of being a paedophile and set on fire.....he was innocent but because the local rag decided to print his name before a trial he's longer with us.

Accused people suffer just as much as someone who actually did it and suffer psychological problems from their lives being turned upside down as they struggle to clear their name of any wrong doing.

Perhaps if I printed the names, addresses, phone numbers and E-mail addresses for the employees of the Daily echo they probably wouldn't like it but if they can do it why can't I?

Guilty until proven innocent and that includes you.
This highlights the need to refrain from releasing names and/or Photo's and that's regardless if the paper thinks you need to know, it's a cop out from a paper looking for sensationalism because they know it's what the local people want to see. Thousands of innocent people across the country have their name printed in the paper even before a trial. You remember the guy who was accused of being a paedophile and set on fire.....he was innocent but because the local rag decided to print his name before a trial he's longer with us. Accused people suffer just as much as someone who actually did it and suffer psychological problems from their lives being turned upside down as they struggle to clear their name of any wrong doing. Perhaps if I printed the names, addresses, phone numbers and E-mail addresses for the employees of the Daily echo they probably wouldn't like it but if they can do it why can't I? Guilty until proven innocent and that includes you. Uptonian2

9:41am Mon 3 Feb 14

KLH says...

Unfortunately this chap will always have problems with abuse now, He is recognisable to a lot of people in the area, and there will always be one who wants to have a pop. Majority of people will leave him alone, but unfortunately there will be those who want to say their piece. He hasn't been charged but that will not make an iota of difference to some.
Unfortunately this chap will always have problems with abuse now, He is recognisable to a lot of people in the area, and there will always be one who wants to have a pop. Majority of people will leave him alone, but unfortunately there will be those who want to say their piece. He hasn't been charged but that will not make an iota of difference to some. KLH

10:30am Mon 3 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

Can,t see that publishing his picture will help him
Can,t see that publishing his picture will help him kalebmoledirt

10:47am Mon 3 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

So digging back up and refreshing this very old article, republishing the poor innocent man's picture alongside his name and the unsavoury but unfounded allegations will help this regrettable situation?

Shame on everyone responsible - including the Echo!
So digging back up and refreshing this very old article, republishing the poor innocent man's picture alongside his name and the unsavoury but unfounded allegations will help this regrettable situation? Shame on everyone responsible - including the Echo! muscliffman

10:52am Mon 3 Feb 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected.
I look forward to the warmer weather again.
Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected. I look forward to the warmer weather again. Sir Beachy Head

11:41am Mon 3 Feb 14

BarrHumbug says...

I don't get this, the police have now decided no offence was committed? A woman reported that they and their child had been flashed at, if that proved to be untrue then hasn't she committed an offence?
I don't get this, the police have now decided no offence was committed? A woman reported that they and their child had been flashed at, if that proved to be untrue then hasn't she committed an offence? BarrHumbug

11:47am Mon 3 Feb 14

BmthNewshound says...

Its sad to think that in the 21st century in a country which likes to think of itself as having a civilised and tolerant society that Mental health is still a taboo subject and that leads to fear and ignorance with people suffering from mental health problems being stigmatised.
.
The police and Echo were wrong to publish a photo of someone suspected of committing an offence before establishing the facts.
Its sad to think that in the 21st century in a country which likes to think of itself as having a civilised and tolerant society that Mental health is still a taboo subject and that leads to fear and ignorance with people suffering from mental health problems being stigmatised. . The police and Echo were wrong to publish a photo of someone suspected of committing an offence before establishing the facts. BmthNewshound

11:51am Mon 3 Feb 14

KLH says...

BarrHumbug wrote:
I don't get this, the police have now decided no offence was committed? A woman reported that they and their child had been flashed at, if that proved to be untrue then hasn't she committed an offence?
He was near a public toilet and unfortunately for him this woman saw his bits. Possibly he'd been urinating nearby or was coming out of a toilet and hadn't put himself away properly. Or was he actually exposing himself deliberately? Difficult to judge.
[quote][p][bold]BarrHumbug[/bold] wrote: I don't get this, the police have now decided no offence was committed? A woman reported that they and their child had been flashed at, if that proved to be untrue then hasn't she committed an offence?[/p][/quote]He was near a public toilet and unfortunately for him this woman saw his bits. Possibly he'd been urinating nearby or was coming out of a toilet and hadn't put himself away properly. Or was he actually exposing himself deliberately? Difficult to judge. KLH

11:53am Mon 3 Feb 14

KLH says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected.
I look forward to the warmer weather again.
Be careful - loads of birds looking for worms,
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected. I look forward to the warmer weather again.[/p][/quote]Be careful - loads of birds looking for worms, KLH

11:54am Mon 3 Feb 14

KLH says...

....or insects.
....or insects. KLH

12:35pm Mon 3 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

KLH wrote:
Sir Beachy Head wrote:
Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected.
I look forward to the warmer weather again.
Be careful - loads of birds looking for worms,
And people looking for easy money by making false accusations.
[quote][p][bold]KLH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected. I look forward to the warmer weather again.[/p][/quote]Be careful - loads of birds looking for worms,[/p][/quote]And people looking for easy money by making false accusations. speedy231278

1:05pm Mon 3 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected.
I look forward to the warmer weather again.
If you feel the need to show your thingy ,take your hat off
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: Flashing is best done on Studland beach. It's fine over there. In fact its expected. I look forward to the warmer weather again.[/p][/quote]If you feel the need to show your thingy ,take your hat off kalebmoledirt

1:49pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Gingertree says...

Bravo Daily Echo for reprinting his picture,so all the neanderthals can have another crack at him!
Bravo Daily Echo for reprinting his picture,so all the neanderthals can have another crack at him! Gingertree

2:39pm Mon 3 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

Well done you have picked on some poor vulnerable bloke printed his photo put forward a an excuse for some idiots to cause him distress and misery and probably taken away any chance of him being able to walk on the beach for a very long time.While all the time turning a blind eye to accusations of corruption.next time you send your photographer out tell him to stick to snaps of Daliks and leave the vulnerable alone they have enough on their plate without a second rate rag trying to make a quid out of them
Well done you have picked on some poor vulnerable bloke printed his photo put forward a an excuse for some idiots to cause him distress and misery and probably taken away any chance of him being able to walk on the beach for a very long time.While all the time turning a blind eye to accusations of corruption.next time you send your photographer out tell him to stick to snaps of Daliks and leave the vulnerable alone they have enough on their plate without a second rate rag trying to make a quid out of them kalebmoledirt

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