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10th May 2023

Man accused of being ‘Somerset Gimp’ set to appear in court today

Charlie Herbert

Somerset gimp

He was arrested after two recent incidents

A man accused of being the ‘Somerset Gimp’ is set to appear in court today.

Police say Joshua Hunt, 31, has been charged in connection with a series of incidents in the area.

Hunt, of Claverham, will appear at North Somerset Magistrates Court on Wednesday (May 10).

He is charged with two counts of affray and one count each of possession of a bladed article and committing an act of outraging public decency.

One of the affray charges and the possession of a bladed article charge relates to an incident in Bleadon yesterday (Tuesday 9 May).

The second affray charge relates to an incident in Bleadon on Sunday (7 May), while the outraging public decency charge relates to an incident in Cleeve on 25 October.

Hunt is currently in police custody pending today’s hearing.

Police say enquiries into other linked offences in the North Somerset area continue.

The hearing follows several reports over the years of a man lurking in several villages dressed in a latex suit.

The latest incident happened in Bleadon in the early hours of Tuesday after he jumped out in front of a woman.

She later posted on Facebook: ”Just want to put this on Facebook as I would hate for someone to experience what I saw last night and not know what it was/be alone in their experience.

”Around 11:15pm last night I was driving home alone from Weston down the back roads (accommodation road) heading for Brean.

”As soon as I got over the first railway bridge, I noticed something on the ground which I thought was a badger.

”As I got closer I could see it wasn’t, but in fact a man with a mask on, who was crawling and writhing on the ground.

”His mask had 2 white crosses on his eyes and he was in all black.

”I have honestly never been so frightened in my entire life and drove away so fast.

”It was such a strange experience that I honestly thought I had hallucinated.

”One of my friends then mentioned something called the ‘Somerset Gimp’ which matched my description completely.”

The man has terrorised a number of communities for years (Handout)

Police told her that there first thought was also that it was the same man when she described the incident to them.

She added: ”Hopefully no one else will see this absolute freak, but just thought I’d share my experience in case anyone was terrified like me.”

Inspector Graeme Hall, of the neighbourhood policing team, said: “We understand this latest incident may cause the community some concern.

“We took this morning’s report extremely seriously and had officers on the scene within minutes which ultimately led to the arrest being made.

“To reassure the community, we will be carrying out extra patrols in the Bleadon area and anyone concerned about this, or any other incident, is encouraged to speak to an officer.”

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