Man in hotwater for peeping

By LUKE SALKELD Time of article published Jun 8, 2012

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A heart surgeon lay on a supermarket floor so he could look up a woman shopper’s skirt, a court heard yesterday.

Ahmed Abdelgawad, 35, deliberately positioned himself on the ground in an aisle at Tesco so he could peer at her underwear.

It is alleged that he was touching his groin during the incident, which was caught on CCTV.

Witnesses called police and Abdelgawad was arrested as he sidled up to other unsuspecting women in the shop, the court was told.

Prosecutor Nicola Powell said: ‘It’s a fleeting incident.

‘Abdelgawad gets up afterwards and is in the store for some time afterwards and appears to be following several young females.

‘At one point, he is crouching next to a young girl in the fruit and vegetable aisle and appears to be about to do the same again.’

Magistrates heard Abdelgawad also had his hand in his trouser pocket and was touching himself during the incident on May 21.

Abdelgawad, who works at two hospitals in Swansea, South Wales, admitted outraging public decency but denies touching himself.

In a statement read to the court on his behalf, he said: ‘It was a stupid, silly mistake.

‘I didn’t touch myself in any way. I am remorseful for the incident and put it down to my raised stress, anxiety or depression.’

Swansea magistrates were shown CCTV footage of the heart surgeon peering up the woman’s skirt at a branch of Tesco in the city.

The court will hold another hearing, at a date to be fixed, to decide whether Abdelgawad touched himself at the time of the offence. Chairman of the bench Phil Llewelyn said: ‘We are of the opinion that the difference between the prosecution case and the basis of plea would make a substantial difference in sentencing.’

Abdelgawad was released on conditional bail.

After the case, the General Medical Council said that he is currently working with no restrictions on his licence.

His employers, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, declined to comment.

Yesterday afternoon Abdelgawad answered the door at his ground floor flat in the Roath district of Cardiff, wearing dark blue pyjamas and holding a mug of tea.

‘I have no comment to make on the case,’ he said.

Last month a former traffic warden who filmed up the skirts of shoppers at a branch of Tesco in Swansea was handed a suspended prison sentence for committing a similar offence in a discount store.

Glen Elson, 49, used a Blackberry mobile phone in an adapted shopping bag which he held next to a woman wearing a short skirt in Poundland in Swansea city centre.

Elson, from the Mount Pleasant district of the city, pleaded guilty to outraging public decency and was given a three-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.

He appeared at Swansea Crown Court just over a year after receiving a three-year community order for four offences of outraging public decency. At that time the court heard that he filmed up the skirts of women in the Swansea Marina branch of Tesco. It is thought to be the same branch where Abdelgawad was spotted. - Daily Mail

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