A man has been fined £130 after having sex with his girlfriend – in the grounds of an historic cathedral.
Randy Stephen Neal, 23, was seen fondling his semi-naked lover who had her legs open and thighs in the air outside Ely Cathedral, Cambs.
Stunned churchgoers called police and officers found them having sex on grass at the back of the building.
Ely Magistrates’ Court heard that the half-naked lovers adjusted their clothes and apologised, claiming they had simply got ”carried away”.
Neal was fined £130 after admitting his behaviour could have caused harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public but denied the couple were having sex.
His lover, who has not been named, received a police caution.
Chairman of the bench Mary Rone said: ”Ely is a special place, with a beautiful cathedral surround by large and impressive grounds and monastic buildings.
”To many people these grounds are a sacred place and should be treated with respect.
”This offence took place on a Saturday afternoon when members of the public and children were around, possibly on their way to Evensong, and they must have been offended by your inappropriate behaviour.”
Prosecutor Marti Blair told the court that Neal’s partner, who was not named in court, was on her back with her legs open, and her thighs in the air.
The couple were moving around, and Neal was caressing the woman’s body as they kissed furiously at around 5.30pm on July 26 this year.
She said: ”Officers found Mr Neal and a woman having sex on grass at the back of the cathedral.
”It was clear to officers by the way they were moving that they were having sex.
”People, some of whom had small children with them, dialled 999 and said they were shocked and flustered after witnessing it.
”Officers approached the couple, the defendant stood up in a panic, doing up his flies or fiddling with his buttons, and putting his tee-shirt on; she appeared to be fiddling with her clothing.”
Neal, of Ely, Cambs., told police he was not having sex but admitted the couple had been kissing and cuddling.
Michael Judkins, defending, said: ”He accepts they were kissing and cuddling and the impression may have been given it was some sort of sexual activity, but that is not quite what it was.
”They insist they were not having sex but agree that their actions may have led passers-by and police to believe that they were.
”He accepts in hindsight they went too far and it was inappropriate; he had no intention of making members of the public feel uncomfortable or offended. This situation simply developed.”
Unemployed Neal was ordered to pay £105 costs and a £15 surcharge.