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Sweet justice after naked jogger given away by till receipt

Teenager had terrified female joggers for months

Durham Police of PC Gary Thompson and PC Steven Franklin who caught the naked runner.

Durham Police of PC Gary Thompson and PC Steven Franklin who caught the naked runner.

Police caught a naked runner who disturbed dozens of female joggers after finding a till receipt and an empty packet of Haribo sweets he had dropped near the scene.

Officers were determined to catch the pervert who had been hiding out on a stretch of riverside paths by the Wear near Durham city and preying on lone women over a period of weeks.

Dressed only in running shoes, he would run alongside his victims after spying on them from bushes.

Since April, around a dozen women aged between their late teens and their 40s reported they had seen the man around Durham Rowing Club and the Maiden Castle sports complex.

Police believe there may have been many more incidents which went unreported.

Officers carried out a series of operations, including plain clothes patrols in which female officers posed as joggers to lure the suspect. The breakthrough came when one of the officers found an area on the parapet of a disused railway bridge which the culprit used to spot his victims coming.

An empty Haribo packet and shop receipt found nearby allowed officers to pinpoint the moment that the sweets were bought and scour CCTV for an image of the suspect.

Women confirmed the man on the shop's CCTV was the naked runner and officers were then able to trace the suspect to a city centre address, where he was arrested.

An 18-year-old man has now admitted several offences and has been admitted to a four-month intervention programme to deal with his behaviour.

Sergeant Kay Howarth, of Durham City Police, said: "This was quite an unusual case because the riverside in Durham is usually such a safe place and is visited by families all the time, which made us all the more determined to catch him.

"It must have been very alarming for these women to have a stranger jump out at them while they were simply out enjoying a run.

"We would like to thank all those who rang in to report this man and for all those local runners who helped with our investigation.

"Our officers were determined to find this man and we will continue to work to make sure Durham is a safe place for everyone."

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