Friday, 16 November 2007


Please suspend for a minute your various faculties of outrage and consider this: A man, in the privacy of his own room (in a hostel in Scotland), being (one supposes) driven by various mysterious inner urges and, no doubt, for lack of a more suitable companion, proceeds to attempt sexual acts with, er, a bicycle. Yes, a bicycle. I have not discovered (nor do I care) whether this alluring temptrix was a mountain bike or a sit-up-and-beg. We have a crude analogy in the UK that likens a lady somewhat generous with her favours, shall we say, to a bicycle, but this is not a case of this kind. This is a bicycle-type bicycle.

Said gentleman—and for the lack of other evidence, we must assume him to be a gentleman—was discovered in flagrante delicto with the said machine by two cleaners who promptly reported their discovery to Somebody In Authority. As a result, the frustrated Don Juan was had up in court and duly found guilty of a sexual breach of the peace.

Now, you may have found this ridiculous enough, but the crowning absurdity is that this poor man, in addition to the very public humiliation of having his name linked with such a silly act, has had his name added to the list of sex offenders in the UK, along with rapists, paedophiles and other sad criminals.

And there I was, thinking that all along that sex protection policies were all about safeguarding children and vulnerable people. In fact, it would appear that it is all about criminalizing any sexual act that a judge finds distasteful, even when performed in what the perpetrator would have considered privacy.

Please don't get me wrong—I'm not suggesting for a minute that the gentleman concerned was a paragon of virtue or under the moral law entitled to do whatever he did, but there has to be a sense of proportion here. Surely the embarrassment and consequent humiliation was sufficient for coitus velocipædus.

Which is to say that you can be an upstanding member of society though you kill your unborn child. But you can have your life blighted forever, officially, for having the weakness to outrage the virtue of a bicycle.

I didn't really want to link to this item, for reason of betraying the chap's name and still further embarrassing him. But I suspect that right now he is beyond futher humiliation, and I've been asked to provide what is in the public forum anyway. So, if you must, you can read a little about it here.


Anonymous said...

Is this serious? Can you give us a link?

Benfan said...

If the cleaners knocked and he replied "come iiiiin", there would be a case of indecency to answer to. Also, did he have previous?

If the cleaners barged in I think the ruling does seem far too harsh. Some good Catholic Lawyer should contact him and try for an appeal. Unfortunately, the case is so miserable and silly I fear no one would step up to the pedal. Poor man.

Fr Justin said...

It's no hoax, I can assure you. Try googling a few key words, and you will be able to read all about it for yourself.
Benfan; I gather that cleaners did knock, and he simply didn't answer, so they went in anyway. As you comment; poor man.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

I'm sorry and all that, but I found this a very interesting post.

I'm not familiar with the law regarding sex and bicycles.

I would have to take legal opinion, but I would have thought a sexual breach of the peace, like a non-sexual breach of the peace,
would be a public order offence.

But this man was, so it is reported, in private.

This seems to me to be a fairly straightforward case of bicycle fetish.

While it is no doubt highly immoral and not to be encouraged, it does not seem to constitute a criminal offence.

Sex with a bicycle in a public place clearly would constitute such an offence and (presumably) could involve further charges (indecent exposure, outraging public decency, whatever).

Clearly, not all the facts of the case have been laid bare (so to speak).

Perhaps he should consider an appeal.

Rita said...

I was going to write about this on my blog, but you've said exactly what I was going to say, so I suppose I'd better do some work instead!

Will anything stop the New Puritans and their hypocrisy?

BarbaRa said...

What has happened isn't the catastrophe for the man it might appear to be at first sight. He will know now who is a friend and who isn't, which to know is immensely valuable. Besides, we can always choose not to be humiliated by whatever happens.

Dr Wright, as long as we don't hurt or harm another person, there is nothing immoral in the bedroom.

Anonymous said...

Oh my life! i'm not riding my bike to Mass tomorrow!lol

William said...

It's hard to decide who comes out of this looking most stupid. The chap himself with his novel line in paraphilia; the cleaners who instead of doing the sensible thing – making their excuses and leaving – decided it should be reported to the authorities; said authorities for not dismissing the case out of hand (or at most, perhaps, issuing a police caution); or the judge who apparently hasn't got a clue as to what the sex offenders' register is there for.

Crass idiocy at every stage. And as you say, morality in the public forum reduced to the level of whatever one happens to find distasteful. Does it make the majority of people go "yuck"? Criminalise it, brand the perpetrator a SICK, EVIL PERVERT, and hound him in the tabloid press as unfit to breathe the same air as the rest of us! (Little wonder, in such a superficial and topsy-turvy moral universe, that it is those who attempt to draw public attention to what is involved in abortion who are criminalised – again for making people go "yuck" – rather than those who perform the procedure itself, which is nice and sanitised and away from public gaze, so really no reasonable person could possibly object.)

William said...

Love your title, btw - I recommend that it be adopted as the official medical term (though perhaps it would work better spelled the American way, so that "ped-" could equally well be either Latin or Greek. Sorry to be so ped-antic! [groan])

gemoftheocean said...

And it was definitely a BI cycle rather than a TRI cycle? If TRI, then that would have been sex with a minor. If BI, distasteful as it was, and embarrassing as it was, it the two cleaners did ad insult to what was already a sad episode. Are there perhaps older laws on the books regarding sex with bicycles that perhaps weren't repeals? I.E. same sex congress as opposed to opposite sex congress? In other words did the man's bike have a straight bar or did it not have a bar?

[Yes, tongue firmly in cheek] what in heck are things coming to over there.

Paulinus said...

Poor man.

However, it's only a matter of time before it becomes UK Government policy to recognise stable relationships between people of either sex and their bicycles. It's the progressive thing, y'know, as Tony Blair might say.