Calderdale man who was held prisoner in Iraq is jailed after exposing himself on busy bus

Michael Wainwright (pictured in 1992) from Rastrick has been jailed at Bradford Crown Court
Michael Wainwright (pictured in 1992) from Rastrick has been jailed at Bradford Crown Court

A Calderdale pensioner who hit the headlines more than 25 years ago when he was held captive in Iraq has been jailed for exposing himself in front of passengers on a busy bus.

Michael Wainwright, now 67, was sentenced to 10 years in prison back in 1992 after he was caught cycling across the Iraqi border, but he was eventually released in December the following year along with fellow Britons Paul Ride and Simon Dunn.

Wainwright, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, was made the subject of a two-year community in 2011 after he admitted offences of exposure and sexual assault in Elland and a judge heard today that in 2012 and 2016 he was dealt with for outraging public decency and exposure after he committed similar offences in bus shelters.

MORE CRIME: Calderdale paedophile groomed teen girl and drove 70 miles to meet her for sex

In March this year Wainwright was travelling on a “packed” bus from Brighouse to Rastrick when a woman passenger saw him exposing his penis and performing a sex act in himself.

Prosecutor Gerald Hendron told Bradford Crown Court that the woman informed the driver and, after telling Wainwright to stay in his seat, she contacted the police.

After his arrest Wainwright, of Highfield Road, Rastrick, denied the exposure offence, but he eventually pleaded guilty to the charge at an earlier magistrates court hearing.

MORE CRIME: Wild African cat seized from Halifax house by environmental health teams

Wainwright had also admitted breaching an indefinite sexual offences prevention order by travelling to Malta and Gibraltar without informing his public protection officer.

Barrister Jayne Beckett, for Wainwright, said during his imprisonment in Iraq he was subjected to torture including attempts at castration.

She said Wainwright, who had been remanded in custody since his arrest, was adamant that he didn’t want to go back to prison and she urged the judge to consider a sentence which included rehabilitation.

But the Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the bus was full of members of the public including children and Wainwright was unable to stop himself.

“I’ve no alternative but to try and mitigate the risk you do pose to the public by sending you to prison,” he told the pensioner.

Wainwright was jailed for six months for the exposure offence on the bus and given a further six months to run consecutively for breaching the sexual offences prevention order.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and breaking incidents in Halifax - join our dedicated Facebook group here.