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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Semi naked Cumbrian woman carried out sex act while driving on motorway

A stressed out Cumbrian mum has admitted performing a sex act on herself as she drove her car along the M6 motorway near Carlisle.

Miranda Leslie Chapman photo
Miranda Leslie Chapman

A shocked trucker alerted police after spotting Miranda Leslie Chapman – naked below the waist – pleasuring herself as she slowly overtook him on the southbound motorway in her Peugeot 107 car.

Chapman, 43, admitted driving dangerously and outraging public decency.

Her solicitor told the court her client’s actions had been a futile attempt to make herself feel better at a time when she was under stress.

At Penrith Magistrates’ Court yesterday, prosecutor Huw Edwards said Chapman committed the offences as she drove south between Carlisle and Shap on the afternoon of Thursday, May 26.

Lorry driver Jonathan Kitchen was driving at around 4.30pm when he glanced to his right and saw the defendant’s Peugeot overtaking.

The lawyer said: “Looking down at the vehicle, he saw Chapman masturbating, with her bottom half uncovered. He was of the opinion that she was slowing down deliberately, which is disputed by her.

“Chapman was pulled over by PC Simon Tunstall down the motorway.

“She was questioned at the roadside and during the interview admitted fully the offences of dangerous driving and outraging public decency, though not in those words.”

Judith Birbeck, for Chapman, who lives at Doomgate, Appleby, said that her client had shopped in Carlisle, visiting Mothercare on English Street to buy a baby-walker for her seven-month-old grandson.

While in Carlisle, she had taken two phone calls which deeply disturbed her.

One was from her daughter, who has battled against health problems and had announced she was again pregnant.

The other was from her soldier son, who said he was being sent to Afghanistan.

“She already has a relative who has suffered life-threatening injuries in Afghanistan,” said Mrs Birbeck. “You can only imagine her distress.

“She suffers from incontinence and while driving she pulled her trousers and knickers down, simply for comfortable driving.

“Again while driving she got a call from her disabled father in Ulverston asking her to find something for him that he had lost. So she agreed not to go home but to go to Ulverston.”

The combination of these events led to her decision to commit the offence, the lawyer told the court.

Mrs Birbeck continued: “In what can only be described as a moment of madness, she decided to masturbate to make herself feel better.

“It hardly needs to be said that it didn’t in the end make herself feel better. It was an action that is completely out of character. As far as she was concerned, she was in the privacy of her own car.

“She undertook this over a period of a few minutes. She is adamant that she was not deliberately slowing down to let other drivers see.”

The prosecution accepted Chapman’s basis of plea, in which she denied using a sex toy while driving.

Mrs Birbeck handed in a number of character references for Chapman, including one from staff at a Blackburn domestic violence unit where she was a voluntary helper.

The solicitor also spoke of the stress of the court case hanging over her, saying that Chapman has lost so much weight that she had shrunk from a size 12 to a size 8.

“She’s been physically sick worrying about what is going to happen to her today,” added Mrs Birbeck. The solicitor explained that Chapman was planning to travel to the USA in the near future to attend her son’s wedding.

Magistrates said they would sentence Chapman, who wept at times during the hearing, on October 8 after background reports were prepared.

They said they would not jail Chapman but were considering a community sentence with an unpaid work element. They will also consider imposing a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

In the meantime, they imposed an immediate driving ban on the defendant.

After the case, Mr Kitchen, 48, who has been a truck driver for 20 years, said: “I was amazed and shocked when I saw what she was doing.

“What if my family were involved in an accident caused by that?”

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