January 2011

Married man with distinguished Royal Navy career flashed at girls

A MARRIED man with a distinguished career in the Royal Navy repeatedly exposed himself to schoolgirls over 18 months, a court heard.

John Noble, aged 38, could not explain why he preyed on girls in Estover other than he was going through a difficult time in his life

He was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register.

Noble, formerly of Rheola Gardens in Estover but now living in Copperfields, Horrabridge, admitted two counts of indecent exposure. He asked for four similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Angela Furniss, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that Noble approached a 12-year-old girl as she walked home from school through an alleyway near Keswick Crescent at 3pm on March 31.

She said that Noble exposed himself and the girl ran away ‘screaming and crying’.

Mrs Furniss added that Noble exposed himself to three girls aged 11, 12 and 13 who were playing together near a park in Thurlestone Walk just before 6pm on October 11.

She added that the girls told an adult who managed to get Noble’s registration as he drove away.

Mrs Furniss said that police had been investigating a series of ‘strikingly similar’ offences over 18 months.

Adrian Hill, for Noble, said that he was a man of previous good character.

He added: “He is a married man. His wife is here today and is supportive of him.

“With regard to these offences, he was going through a difficult period in his life and he cannot offer any further explanation other than that.”

Mr Hill said that Noble may now lose his Naval career.