A man with a penchant for donning swimming costumes and on one occasion a Disney princess costume to harass unsuspecting females has avoided jail after leaving dozens of bras on women’s driveways.
Ian Qualters’ latest two victims have been left ‘unsettled’ by his bizarre behaviour, which saw him repeatedly hurl women’s underwear and bikini tops on to their property in Ellesmere Port while they were at an early-morning fitness class.
The 41-year-old, who lives with his father on Clayhill Green in Little Sutton, was back in court to answer for the offences today (August 22), less than two months after being handed a criminal behaviour order for dressing in women’s swimwear and a pink Disney princess outfit to peer through his neighbours’ windows.
Among the conditions of the order were that Qualters was banned from wearing women’s swimwear and fancy dress in public, entering a garden or driveway without permission and approaching lone females.
Qualters, who appeared visibly distressed as he entered the dock at Chester Magistrates Court, admitted two counts of harassment between July 11 and August 17 and one count of breaching his criminal behaviour order.
The court heard that one of his victims realised there was a pattern to when the items were left on her driveway, which was when she attended an exercise class on Mondays and Fridays between around 6.10am and 7.10am.
On one morning alone, she found five bras outside her house.
She overheard one of her classmates saying she was experiencing the same thing, and the matter was reported to the police.
This other victim had around 40 items in total deposited on her property.
Prosecutor Rob Youds said both women have been left feeling ‘anxious’ and ‘unsettled’, and believe that Qualters must have been watching them to establish what their routines were and when they would be out.
Chipping plant worker and part-time landscape gardener Qualters was arrested and told police during his interview that he did not know why he did it, but said that ‘his head was up his a***’, Mr Youds told the court.
Qualters denied he had targeted the women deliberately, instead insisting that the incidents were entirely random and that both victims’ homes happened to be along the route of his drive to work in Warrington.
Defending, Ceri Lewis explained that her client has severe learning difficulties, anxiety issues and an IQ of just 53.
“He says he was not even aware in all honesty that there were women at the address and he wishes to apologise to all parties affected by his behaviour,” she said.
Ms Lewis revealed that, according to Qualters, the ‘trigger’ for his behaviour was that he was being ‘picked on’ by a man who was taking work from him and driving his vehicle at him.
Magistrates rejected Qualters’ claim that the offences were not targeted and sentenced him to two weeks in custody suspended for two years, as well as imposing a new 24-month rehabilitation order.
Qualters was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to each of his two victims, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £115.
Restraining orders related to both women were granted for a period of three years each.
Speaking following the hearing, PCs Graeme Morrison and Mike Wynne, from Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “Whilst we understand that he has personal difficulties, we cannot rest in our duty to protect members of the public.
“We will robustly enforce the conditions he is subject to.”