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Naked café boss ‘under pressure’
A café owner who was completely naked when three would-be waitresses arrived for job interviews was under significant financial pressures and stress, a court heard.
David Richards, 53, invited an underage girl, a 16-year-old and a woman, aged 30, to his York coffee bar, Rioco’s in Feasegate, and then exposed himself to them in the partially-lit cellar.
Prosecutor Robert Galley told York Crown Court that each interviewee had received a text message telling them to turn up at the café at 5.30pm after business, saying Richards would be downstairs and that they would have to look for him.
Richards, described as a “workaholic” who would work seven days a week at Rioco’s, told them he had been having a wash after a hard day cooking at work.
He then got dressed and conducted the interviews but all three women declined the offer of a job and went straight to the police.
Judge Stephen Ashurst, Recorder of York, said they should all be applauded for informing the police.
Sentencing Richards, he said: “You sent them each identical text messages informing them what time to attend and telling them you would be in the basement area of your café and all three complied with your request.
“When they found you in the basement, you were completely naked. This was not a coincidence – you intended exposing yourself to those three applicants. It caused them extreme alarm and distress. On any view, this was bizarre behaviour.”
The court heard Richards had no previous convictions and a reference described him as “quiet and gentle, not someone who goes out of his way to upset anyone”.
Chloe Hudson, mitigating, told the court Richards was under significant financial pressures and stress.
“He has not taken a day off in the last four years, and has not been away from the café for the last six years,” she said.
Richards, of George Street, Wistow, near Selby, pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent exposure.
He declined to comment after he was sentenced to a three-year community order.
Richards must also attend a sexual offenders’ treatment programme, with a five-year notification requirement, in that he must alert the authorities of any change of address in that period.
The court heard the café lease is up in December, and Richards intended to sell the business and take on less stressful employment.