'Somerset Gimp’ banned from wearing gimp suits and 'crawling or writhing on the ground' for five years after 25 incidents of harassment

Friday 3 November 2023

A self-employed gardener has been banned for five years from dressing in an all-black gimp suit in public at night and “crawling, wriggling or writhing on the ground”.

Joshua Hunt, aged 32, was linked to 25 incidents committed by the so-called 'Somerset Gimp', following police investigation.

Mr Hunt has been made the subject of the sexual risk order, preventing him from wearing any type of mask or face covering except for medical requirement.

In addition, Mr Hunt, of Claverham, North Somerset is banned from:

  • Being in possession of any type of mask or face covering, including improvised masks or face coverings that cover all or part of the face, in a public place, including whilst in a vehicle in a public place, between the hours of 2100 and 0600 unless officially required for medical purposes or by law.

  • Wearing or being in possession of black all-in-one garments or any combination of full-length black coloured top and black coloured bottom clothing which has the appearance of an all-in-one garment, in a public place, including in a vehicle in a public place between the hours of 2100 and 0600.

  • Crawling, wriggling or writhing on the ground in a public place whilst wearing a full-body covering, clothing that appears like a full body covering and/or mask/full face covering.

The order was imposed by the district judge following a hearing at Bristol Magistrates’ Court, a week after Hunt had been convicted of two offences of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress.

A photo of the 'Somerset Gimp' in 2019, but this image was not proven to be of Joshua Hunt

A man in an all-black gimp suit had terrified two female motorists in May this year in Bleadon, near Weston-super-Mare, the hearing was informed.

It was the latest in a series of bizarre incidents where a man dressed skin-tight dark clothing was seen writhing around on the ground and stepping out in front of cars in remote locations across North Somerset since 2018.

The court previously heard that witnesses to one incident in October last year saw a man wearing a gimp suit who grabbed his penis over the top of his clothing and also “gyrated against the floor”.

The sexual risk order was imposed for five years and also means Hunt is on the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

There are also restrictions placed upon Hunt’s computer use and access of the internet.

The 'gimp' was originally a character in the film Pulp Fiction who wears bondage gear

Imposing the order, District Judge Joanna Dickens said: “I am satisfied that you have done a series of acts of a sexual nature.

“A sexual risk order is quite a serious order, and it has a lot of obligations of you and if you breach this order you can go to prison.

“I only make an order if I think it is necessary to protect the public from you and I do think it is necessary.”

His trial last week heard that when Mr Hunt was arrested in May this year, he told police: “I am not a gimp, I do not own a gimp suit.

“I am not in a gimp suit. I am not dangerous, I am a normal person, I have got a few problems.”

He had also researched news and videos online about the Somerset Gimp who had been terrorising people late at night since 2018.

The farmer’s son had previously been arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance in connection with a series of incidents in the Cleeve, Claverham and Yatton areas last year.

But due to insufficient evidence no further action was taken.