Febuary 2008

Teenager banned from two parks for exposing himself

A TEENAGE flasher has been banned from two parks in his home town after a court heard he repeatedly exposed himself to passers-by.

Dean Richmond was also barred from going within 100 metres of a teenage girl’s home after leaving her traumatised by a series of similar offences.

Teesside Crown Court was told yesterday that Richmond, 19, repeatedly exposed himself to the youngster as she looked from her bedroom window.

He later told police that he had heard Darlington was “full of dirty girls” and he wanted to see if he could attract her by carrying out the sex acts. Analise Haugstad, prosecuting, told the court that the flashing to the girl started in late September and went on until Richmond was caught, in December last year.

In early September, the teenager was given a warning by police, after he was spotted by a number of people exposing himself in North Lodge Park.

He initially denied any wrongdoing and told officers he had no need to commit sex acts in public, because he had a girlfriend and a young child.

Zoe Passfield, mitigating, said Richmond had been drinking heavily and taking cannabis at the time of his offending, after being evicted from home.

She said he was struggling to understand what drove him to carry out his crimes, but had spent almost two months on remand reflecting.

“Prior to September last year, he had not shown any signs of behaviour remotely similar to that which brings him before the court today.

“No one is more concerned than he about what led to his behaviour in the latter part of last year,” Ms Passfield told the court.

“Custody has had an extremely salutory effect on this young man. He has missed his child’s first birthday and first Christmas and he has already addressed the issue of how, in years to come, he will explain why he was not there for those milestone moments.”

Judge Michael Taylor told Richmond that he had caused tremendous distress and damage to his victims with his “worrying” behaviour.

Richmond, of Sanderson Street, admitted exposure on September 11.

He also admitted three offences of outraging public decency, on November 24, and December 5 and 8.

Judge Taylor gave Richmond a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with Probation Service supervision and an order to attend a sex offenders’ treatment course and relapse prevention programme.

He was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and was banned from North Lodge Park and South Park.

Ms Passfield said Richmond would be helped to overcome his problems and be diverted from re-offending by his mother and partner, who were both in court.