Curfew for man convicted of flashing at girls

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A man who was found guilty of flashing at two girls in Horsham was spared a jail sentence last week.

Robert Stones, 51, of Swallowtail Road, Horsham, was given an 18 month community order, with supervision by the Probation Service, and a four month curfew.

He had been convicted after a trial on one count of exposure. The jury found him not guilty on two other counts. All three verdicts were unanimous.

During the trial, prosecutor Matthew Heywood said the incident happened in August 2014.

The two victims - who cannot be identified for legal reasons - were walking through an alleyway in north Horsham.

They heard a rustling in nearby bushes, and a man appeared, wearing what looked like a tight cropped T-shirt, and exposed himself to them.

After Stones was found guilty, Judge David Rennie adjourned sentencing until Thursday January 14, for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

At Thursday’s hearing, Judge Rennie commented: “He had a dreadful childhood, in which he witnessed things that no child should ever have to witness.

“This is a man whose life has been blighted by dreadful misfortune. The Probation Service think that it represents the best prospect for a crime-free future if they can work with him.

“If he works with them it represents the best hope that other young girls won’t have to endure the same frightening experience that the two [victims] told us about.”

Judge Rennie told Stones: “The report makes it clear you’ve had a really difficult life. You’ve had all sorts of difficulties that most of us, who have relatively comfortable lives, don’t have to endure.”

However, he added that any re-offending would be met with a jail sentence.

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