A RED-FACED serial offender, who was caught performing a sex act on her boyfriend on a busy town centre street, said she hadn’t intended to initiate the lewd liaison but was leaning on him for support.

Melanie Cooper, of no fixed abode, committed the brazen act on Wilson Patten Street at around 4pm on February 24.

Two gobsmacked passers-by spoke of their disgust after seeing the 42-year-old woman perform the act and reported the incident to police.

One witness was driving towards Bold Street when he spotted the outdoor display of affection.

He said: “I saw her head going backwards and forwards close to his genital area. I felt disgusted and embarrassed as this was in a public place.”

Halton Magistrates Court heard how Cooper, who has 43 convictions for 138 offences – mainly for theft and for breaching a conditional discharge, was later arrested.

During interview, she said she had no recollection of the incident because she was drunk and was an alcoholic, the court heard.

Cooper’s defence team argued that ‘she was feeling ill so leaned against her boyfriend who then dropped his trousers’.

The incident has since acted as a wake-up call to Cooper, who has undergone a period of ‘detoxification’.

Defending, Frances Bennett said: “She has gone 38 days without alcohol and is taking it one day at a time. 38 days can seem like no more than a blink of an eye to us but to her that is an eternity.

“She has sincere regret about what has happened.

“The theft offences were to fund her drink problem after being in a violent relationship but now she has a genuine desire to change.”

Cooper was given a 16 week sentence, which was suspended for 12 months, and a 12 month supervision order on Monday after admitting one charge of an act of outraging public decency.

She was also ordered to pay a £80 victim surcharge and £85 in prosecution costs.