Judge brands flasher a ‘menace’

A MAN who exposed himself in front of girls as young as 11 has avoided going to prison.

Reece Merrill, 20, of Nutclough in Hebden Bridge, admitted five counts of indecent exposure at Bradford Crown Court.

The incidents took place between May 13 and 26 this year in Halifax.

The court heard how Merrill dropped his trousers in front of several girls between the ages of 11 and 19.

He was spared an immediate custodial sentence by Judge James Potter, who gave Merrill credit for turning himself in to police after an identity parade failed to pick him out.

“It’s a significant aggravating feature that your victims were all young women, or even young girls. You were a menace and you must understand you have caused your victims real harm.

“People who behave like you did over that period of time should receive custodial sentences,” he said.

“But the fact you volunteered to go back to the police and admit it was you was a water shed in relation to you understanding your behaviour and showed that you wish to express remorse.”

Merrill was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and will be under supervision for two years.

He received a sexual offences prevention order which will last for 10 years and he is not allowed to work with children.