Terrified woman locks herself in loo as creep asks for sex and unzips trousers

A traumatised hairdresser says she locked herself in a public loo to escape a creep who followed her, asked for sex and unzipped his trousers.

Ella Barker was terrified when she noticed the man watching her as she walked into the women's toilets in Swadlincote town centre in Derbyshire following her shift at a barbers.

The man followed her and asked "Can I do you?" before she locked herself inside a cubicle.

Miss Barker, who is in her early 20s, told DerbyshireLive that the man kept asking "Do you want to have sex?" and "Can I join you" as he stood outside the door.

Trapped inside, she yelled at him to leave and then contacted the police and her boyfriend's mum for help. A suspect, who is believed to have mental health problems, was later located by police and let off with a warning.

Miss Barker, from Melbourne in Derbyshire, said: "When I was walking into the toilets he said to me, 'Can I do you?' But I just completely ignored him thinking he was trying to be funny and I walked into the ladies.

"I locked the door and put my umbrella on the hook and then he was knocking on the door, but I kept ignoring him. But he kept going and was saying things like, 'Do you want to have sex?' and 'Can I join you?'.

"He just carried on doing it and I shouted for him to get out, but he just kept saying stuff like that. 

"I was trapped in there. I couldn't get out because I would have had to walk past him, so I messaged the Swad police page on Facebook to tell them what was going on and I text my partner's mum, who said her boyfriend would come to get me.

"She told me to stay where I was and not leave the toilet.

"Then I heard him unzipping his trousers. He had a waterproof jacket on and I could hear the fabric moving."

She was trapped inside the cubicle for about half an hour waiting for help to arrive.

Eventually, she shouted to a woman who walked into the toilets to let her know what had happened and that she was too afraid to come out.

By then the man had left.

Miss Barker said: "I told her everything. When she got out of the toilet next to mine to wash her hands, she said 'There's nobody here now', so I got out and she walked me down to the bus station.

"My partner's mum's boyfriend and my partner's brother were both there and they went looking for him.

"A man was sat on the steps outside the women's toilets, and they asked me if it was him, but I hadn't seen him properly, so I didn't know. They then asked him if he was waiting for me and he said 'yes', and I instantly recognised his voice.

"He walked off and got on a bus, and I was just left crying. Then we went to the police station."

Miss Barker said the incident has left afraid to take her dog for a walk alone at night.

She decided to go public with her story to warn other women in Swadlincote.

She said: "I just felt like I had to tell other people. When I was in that toilet, I felt trapped and there was no way out. I didn't feel like I had a chance against him. It was dark and I was on my own and it was really scary.

"I don't want other people to be in the situation I was. I can't imagine how I'd react if it would have happened to my younger sister or something.

"But since I've been warning other people, I've had so many strangers thank me for doing it, so I feel a lot better after doing it."

Derbyshire Police confirmed it had received a report of a suspicious man in the town centre.

A spokesperson said officers found the man, who is believed to have mental health problems, and they took him home and gave him a warning not to do it again.

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