POLICE made an arrest in the public toilets in Whalley after respond-ing to a report of a man behaving in an “odd” manner.

Blackburn magistrates hea-rd an officer found a message written in orange marker pen on a cubicle door inv-iting the reader to push a piece of paper under the partition wall if they wanted an indecent act performing on them.

And when police looked over into the other cubicle, they found David William Fowles looking “very nervous”.

Fowles, 51, of Collins Drive, Accrington, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weap-on, a knife, and damaging toilet cubicle walls belonging to Ribble Valley Council. He was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work, and pay £150 costs and £100 comp-ensation. A charge of mak-ing a public display of indecent matter had previously been withdrawn.

Peter Wild, prosecuting, said police went to the public toilets, in King Street, at 11.25am. When Fowles empt-ied his pockets, there was a bright orange marker pen matching the writing on the cubicle wall and the arrow pointing to the next door cubicle.

When he was searched at the police station, the knife was found in a glasses case.

Basharat Ditta, defending, said his client was a married man with two adult children, one of them a doctor. After studying for a degree in business at Liverpool Univ-ersity, he had always worked in the insurance business until he lost his job four years ago. “He is someone who, in the past, has been viewed with esteem and respect,” said Mr Ditta. “It is quite clear the knife had not been used in any way.”