Christmas prankster was ‘just having a laugh’

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A Christmas joker who covered his house in obscene fairy lights has promised to continue his festive pranks next year.

Steve McGawley, 43, found himself in trouble with police after he decorated his Rodwell Walk home with lights depicting a penis and a bell accompanied by the word ‘END’.

Offensive christmas lights at a house in Grange Park

Offensive christmas lights at a house in Grange Park

He was arrested on Monday night after refusing to remove the ‘offensive’ display and was issued a penalty notice for disorder, along with a £90 fine.

Steve said: “I didn’t expect anything to happen. I put them up having a bit of a laugh with my mates, trying to cheer people up as they went past - but obviously it didn’t cheer some people up!

“I had a worse word up before and when they told me to take that down I thought ‘fair enough’ but I thought the new one would be OK.

“I think it was a bit of an overreaction, but at the end of the day the police are just doing their jobs.

“They took me to the station and asked me a few questions about this and that. They took a swab and my fingerprints. I think it was about 2.30am when I came out.”

A video of Steve’s arrest has gone viral online, racking up more than 8m views from all over the world.

In the video, Steve can be heard insisting that the penis depicted on his wall is actually a mushroom.

A female police officer can then be heard saying: “It’s not a mushroom, it’s a penis”, to which Steve replies: “Well I’m dyslexic so I can’t really tell.”

Dad-of-four Steve, who works as a roofer, said: “It’s been absolutely crazy. I’ve even had the BBC calling me.

“I’ve posted videos to my Facebook account for years and years and all of a sudden it’s blown up and I’m thinking: ‘is this what it means to go viral?’

“Somebody even messaged me saying ‘your penis is famous in Spain!’

“I’m thinking of switching it up a bit and putting something else up next year, but it will have to be quite short if I want to fit it on my wall.”

Steve’s daughter Micha, 22, said: “I found out what had happened through Facebook and the next thing I know it’s got thousands of ‘likes’ and I’ve got thousands of people messaging me asking to see my dad’s other videos.”

Steve has now taken down his infamous display and replaced it with lights reading ‘I’m sorry’.

A police spokesman said: “On Monday, December 19, officers attended an address on Rodwell Walk following a number of complaints in relation to fairy lights on the outside of the house.

“Despite attempts to engage with the occupant the lights were not taken down and a 43-year-old man from Blackpool was arrested and issued with a penalty notice for disorder.”

They added that further action could be taken if they received any more complaints.