Sydney Cricket Ground streakers face 6 months in jail

Chad Sharp, left, and Josh Hudson, right, streak across the SCG at a Big Bash game in January
  • Chad Sharp, 27, and Josh Hudson, 24, streaked at a Big Bash game in January
  • The cousins, both carpenters, disrupted cricket play at the SCG for five minutes
  • Each has been charged with 'wilful and obscene exposure' in a public place
  • Defence says a conviction would be treated similarly to that for sexual offences 

Two streakers who ran naked across the Sydney Cricket Ground during a Big Bash game could face being treated like sex offenders if convicted of 'wilful and obscene exposure'.

Cousins Chad Sharp, 27, and Josh Hudson, 24, appeared on Monday in Downing Centre Local Court where they are defending those charges.

The two Central Coast carpenters have pleaded guilty to entering the playing field, which carries a $5,500 fine. Sharp has also pleaded not guilty to destroying or damaging property, after uprooting a stump.

Carpenter Chad Sharp, charged with wilful and obscene exposure, outside Downing Centre Local Court on Monday

Carpenter Chad Sharp, charged with wilful and obscene exposure, outside Downing Centre Local Court on Monday

Josh Hudson has pleaded not guilty to wilful and obscene exposure at the SCG in January 

Josh Hudson has pleaded not guilty to wilful and obscene exposure at the SCG in January 

The most serious charge is wilful and obscene exposure, which was added by police after Sharp and Hudson were arrested at the SCG during a game between the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder on January 14.

Their barrister, Peter Strain, is arguing that the pair's nude run across the ground in front of almost 40,000 spectators including children was not 'obscene'.

'This is a case ultimately over whether streaking on the SCG or anywhere else is by today's contemporary standards obscene,' Mr Strain told the court.

'Does the court seriously think that a couple of jokers running across the SCG depraved and corrupted people at the ground?' 

Referring to concerns the streaking was witnessed by young boys and girls, Mr Strain said television replays suggested even children enjoyed the show. 

'The children that were shown randomly were either clapping, laughing or filming the event,' he said.

Chad Sharp, left, reaches the wicket at the SCG while his cousin Josh Hudson sprints past

Chad Sharp, left, reaches the wicket at the SCG while his cousin Josh Hudson sprints past

Carpenter Chad Sharp runs past Daniel Hughes and Nathan Lyon of the Sydney Sixers 

Carpenter Chad Sharp runs past Daniel Hughes and Nathan Lyon of the Sydney Sixers 

'This is the Big Bash. Heightened fun. It's the most fun form of the game.'

'When one buys a ticket to the cricket one does not buy a ticket to a streak. But one knows that there is a distinct possibility that something like this might happen.'

The Sixers were facing a crushing eight-wicket loss to the Thunder when Sharp and Hudson livened up the match by jumping naked over the boundary.

Hudson crossed the ground before jumping back over the fence while Sharp made it to the wicket and pulled out a stump before he was caught by security in front of 39,756 fans.

Before the pitch invasion, Hudson's younger brother had posted a message on Facebook: 'My brother and cousin are keen to do a nudie run at 8 o'clock at the 20 20 SCG tonight who's keen to pay their fine'.

A series of interviews Sharp gave to television programs over the following days was played to the court on Monday.

Chad Sharp has pleaded not guilty to wilful and obscene exposure at the SCG in January 

Chad Sharp has pleaded not guilty to wilful and obscene exposure at the SCG in January 

Josh Hudson says he did not intend to offend anyone with his streak across the SCG in January

Josh Hudson says he did not intend to offend anyone with his streak across the SCG in January

Chad Sharp reaches for a stump after streaking across the SCG turf from the boundary 

Chad Sharp reaches for a stump after streaking across the SCG turf from the boundary 

'I wouldn't say I regret it (but) obviously I feel a little bit bad after getting some of the mail,' he told Nine's Today show.

'It's affected their night with having young children and that. If I could go back to that moment where I was about to jump the fence I wouldn't do it again.

'I spoke to my friends and told them I was going to do it, and once I said it I felt like I couldn't back out.'

The mates who offered to help pay for any fine stipulated one of the streakers had to grab a stump.

'That was my main objective,' Sharp said. 'Once I got over the fence I went straight to the stumps, grabbed one then realised I got one.

'Then I sort of realised there was a heap of security guards around. I don't know, I played it by ear from there.'

Sharp, from Wamberal, and Hudson, from Pitt Town, were fined $5,500 on the night, banned from the SCG and nearby Allianz Stadium for two years and excluded from all Cricket Australia games for three years.

Up to 20 security guards pursued Chad Sharp (pictured) and his cousin Josh Hudson at the SCG

Up to 20 security guards pursued Chad Sharp (pictured) and his cousin Josh Hudson at the SCG

Chad Sharp could face six months' prison if convicted of wilful and obscene exposure

Chad Sharp could face six months' prison if convicted of wilful and obscene exposure

Josh Hudson says the crowd cheered when he streaked across the SCG during a Big Bash game 

Josh Hudson says the crowd cheered when he streaked across the SCG during a Big Bash game 

Both gave evidence on Monday, stating they had undressed in a toilet cubicle, walked down to the boundary holding their clothes over their front and rear, then jumped the fence.

Sharp believed he had been naked on the ground for 30 or 40 seconds.

'I was intending just to have fun I guess,' he said. 'I never intended to offend anybody or upset anybody. It was sort of a stupid decision I made.'

'There was a lot of cheers.'

Hudson was also asked if he intended to offend anyone.

'Definitely not,' he told the court. 'I thought it was a bit of fun. I didn't think it through at all. 

'They were cheering. It sounded like they pretty much enjoyed it.'

While the prosecution says the 'obscene exposure' offence does not have a sexual connotation, Mr Strain said a conviction for obscene exposure was considered a sexual offence under the Criminal Records Act and would stay on a person's record for life. 

He also said it would cause difficulties for someone who wished to work with children in future. 

The case was adjourned until November.  

Shane Watson of the Thunder celebrates the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Sydney Sixers

Shane Watson of the Thunder celebrates the wicket of Daniel Hughes of the Sydney Sixers

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By Shedrack Mittens 08/07/2017 06:46:00
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