October 2001

A HARTFORD man has been put behind bars for 18 months after exposing himself to children and perform

Paul Andrew Roughsedge, 42, of Warren Lane, appeared at Chester Crown Court last Friday for sentencing. He had earlier pleaded guilty to gross indecency with a child.

Prosecuting Simon Medland told Judge Elgan Edwards that between June 20 and 25 three girls were playing on a rope swing at Hartford Manor Woods, a popular place for children to play.

The girls saw the semi-naked defendant touching himself. The girls ran off and told their parents.

A few days later on June 26 eight children aged 12 and 13 were all playing at the same place and saw Roughsedge doing the same thing.

Mr Medland said one of the girls asked him what he was doing and told him to get lost, but the children have differing opinions on how he replied.

Some believe he said ‘come closer, you know you want to’ others said he threatened to rape them.

The children ran away, while the defendant ran after them, stark naked apart from his trainers, with hisclothes in one hand touching himself as he was running.

Mr Medland said: “As to the impact on the children they were shocked and nervous as well.

“Fortunately a group of joggers from Vale Royal Athletics Club heard the girls screaming and the defendant made good his escape.”

On July 5 Roughsedge was arrested at his place of work, Roberts Bakery, before police searched his home.

In a locked black box they found letters relating explicit fantasies about seducing a 15-year-old schoolgirl and underage boys while wearing women’s underwear.

Defending, Ian Unsworth said: “In relation to the first incident, it is his case that he did not in fact expose himself on that occasion.

“As far as the second incident is concerned although words were said he did not in fact use the word rape.

“He is dearly sorry for what has happened, he would like to apologise not only to the children but to their parents as well.”

Mr Unsworth added his client has acknowledged he has a problem and is willing to get help to overcome his ‘deviant’ sexual fantasies.

Sentencing, Judge Edwards said: “This is a worrying case, this kind of conduct directed against young children in a public place is quite unacceptable.

“These children and children like them need to be protected from people like you.”

On top of the prison sentence, of which he will serve half, Roughsedge will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years after his release.