Journalist's visit no walk in the park

Public toilets and other buildings should be safe for people to enter without fear of seeing lewd acts.

Public toilets and other buildings should be safe for people to enter without fear of seeing lewd acts.

I went to Maitland Park yesterday to interview a woman who wanted to warn parents about what had been happening in the public toilets at the park.

The woman told me that her friend had walked in on two people engaged in a sexual act about 10am on Monday morning while there were children in the playground nearby.

She simply wanted to make sure no children unsuspectingly witnessed anything that was inappropriate.

While researching the story I heard rumours, and read previous Mercury reports, that promiscuous and public sexual activity had been common at the toilet block.

After I interviewed the woman, Mercury photographer Stuart Scott and I went inside the toilet block to see some of the graffiti that covered the cubicle walls. 

Many of the scribbles made X-rated promises and had phone numbers for people looking for a good time.

While the flash on Stuart’s camera blazed in the dark space, I saw what had been described to me earlier that day as a 'glory hole' in the door of the next cubicle.

Curious, and seeing that the stall was closed but not locked, I pushed the door open with my foot.

The door was stopped by a fully clothed man, who was standing near the door. 

I apologised for disturbing him and immediately went outside to the car park.

He made his exit about 30 seconds later and sat in his car, which faced the amenities. 

The man was still in his car outside the toilet block when Stuart and I drove past again five minutes later.

I tried to rationalise in my mind what had just happened, but I could not shake the feeling that the scenario matched many of the stories I heard yesterday about people waiting for a public sexual encounter.

Comments

Discuss "Journalist's visit no walk in the park"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.