Couple in court after sex act caught on video at open-air gig

CourtsBy Steven Moore
The Hyde Park concert - where the alleged incident took place
The Hyde Park concert - where the alleged incident took place

A couple "blotted their copy books" when they indulged in a sex act during a BBC Radio 2 concert in Hyde Park, a court heard.

What Lisanne Beck and her boyfriend Simon Murphy did in front of members of the public on the afternoon of September 14 was "just not on", jurors in their Old Bailey trial were told.

Hospitality waitress Beck, 47, is accused of pleasuring gardener Murphy, 48, as they lay on the ground during a set by Paloma Faith at the family event.

The pair from Swansea landed themselves in the dock after an onlooker filmed them on a mobile phone engaged in the alleged lewd behaviour.

The jury was shown the footage which the prosecution said showed Murphy with his genitals exposed and Beck performing a sex act on him.

A teenage girl had to be shielded from witnessing their activity before they were ejected from the event, the court has heard.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Tom Cleeve told jurors: "What the couple in question were doing would be no crime at all in the privacy of their own home. It would be perfectly all right there. But not in Hyde Park in the middle of a concert.

"There are some amusing aspects to it and it may be when you are able to talk about this with your friends after jury service that some of your friends may have a few jokes to crack but it was not funny at the time and, being fair, it may not be terribly funny to those two defendants on trial for what took place.

"They are of previously good character, but in that afternoon I'm afraid they blotted their copy book."

It was not funny, either, for one member of the public who said she "felt sick", he added.

"It was in the middle of the afternoon and at a family event.

"There was a 16-year-old girl nearby who had to be shielded from what went on. What went on was just not on. It went beyond grounds of decency. It was, in fact, indecent. On that occasion, that blemish-free record was blotted."

He told the jury that Beck's evidence in the case "does not stand up to scrutiny" as she had been reluctant to "accept the blindingly obvious" - how much she had to drink and the affect it had on her.

He suggested she may have found it "just a bit too embarrassing" and was "a bit too shamed" by being so drunk to accept what was obvious in the film.

Instead, she told the jury she was simply trying to wake her boyfriend up, although the footage "clearly shows sexual activity", he said.

On the suggestion Murphy was completely unaware of what was happening, Mr Cleeve said: "You may think it was pretty rare for a man to complain about his girlfriend carrying out a sexual act on him in whatever circumstance.

"Mr Murphy was an active, deliberate participant. What would be the point of Ms Beck carrying out that activity if he were unconscious and not get any enjoyment out of it?"

He added that the video showed him giving Beck a "pat on the back" seemingly in either "encouragement or thanks".

The defendants deny a charge of outraging public decency.