Man flashed 'due to severe itch'

Published Tuesday, 05 August 2014
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A Co Down man who claimed he had a "severe itch" when he exposed himself to a female driver walked free from court with a three year probation order.

Man flashed 'due to severe itch'
Comber man Francis John Graham at court on Tuesday. (© Pacemaker)

District Judge Mark Hamill explained that even if he "threw the book" at 58-year-old Francis John Graham, who had already spent the equivalent of eight months in jail, that he "could only at most, impose 12 months which would mean this man gets out in a few weeks with no supervision at all."

Describing that as "a nonsense," the judge said he was sure "all hell will break loose" at what the public might perceive as a lenient sentence - but he added the "intense and strenuous" probation run community sex offenders programme, "is the best way that I can protect society from this man."

Newtownards Magistrates' Court had earlier heard how a woman was driving along the Glen Road in Comber when she spotted Graham exposing his genitals on 27 April this year.

He was arrested a few days later, telling the arresting officers: "I know what you are talking about. It was a complete accident. I had a severe itch."

But investigations revealed there had been two similar incidents at the same location in the preceding month.

Graham, from the Glen Road in Comber, pleaded to three counts of indecent exposure on dates between 29 March and 27 April this year as well as further offences of breaching a court imposed, ten year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and breaching the notification requirements of the sex offenders register.

Those charges arose when the police realised the address they arrested him at was not his registered address.

Imposing the three year probation programme, Judge Hamill warned Graham on no uncertain terms that if he committed further offences or breached any order he would go to jail, telling him: "you will be brought back to court and you know what the outcome will be."

© UTV News
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