Anger as flasher escapes jail

THE tearful parents of two young girls targeted by a serial flasher have criticised a judge who allowed their children's attacker to walk free from court.

THE tearful parents of two young girls targeted by a serial flasher have criticised a judge who allowed their children's attacker to walk free from court.

The mothers, who say their nine and 11-year-old daughters have been left traumatised as a result of last August's incident, were speaking following the sentencing of Nathan Frost at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court yesterday .

Angered by Judge Nicholas Beddard's decision to hand the 29-year-old maintenance man a community punishment, the mothers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, hit out at a judicial system they feel has let their families down.

Their daughters' ordeal, they said, had been made worse by Frost's initial not guilty plea, which saw the girls forced to pick their attacker from an identity parade line-up before facing him once more across a court room on the first day of a planned trial.

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"I think it is disgusting that the system has allowed him to walk free," said one tearful mother.

"The girls were in the witness box about to give evidence at his trial when he changed his plea – they were petrified about having to face him again.

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"Our girls are still suffering as a result of this. They used to be so outgoing, but now they won't go out on their own. They won't even sleep alone in their own beds anymore, and won't sit anywhere near a man.

"It seems your children aren't even safe to play on their own doorsteps anymore."

During the hearing, Simon Spence, for the Crown, told the court Frost, of Stubbings Road in Gazeley, near Newmarket, had clocked up a string of previous convictions for indecent exposure, dishonesty and child abduction.

Yesterday, Frost was sentenced for a single count of outraging public decency. Around 19 young women and girls, the court was told, had become his victims since he began offending in 1995, with many of his crimes involving masturbating in public close to schools.

Mr Spence said in the latest incident, the girls had been playing in grounds near the Samuel Ward Upper School, in Haverhill, when they were approached by Frost who urinated into nearby bushes before exposing himself.

The 29-year-old then told his victims he planned to masturbate in front of them, before reassuring the terrified girls he "wasn't going to rape them".

Constance Briscoe, mitigating for Frost, said her client had lost his wife and two children as a result of his persistent offending.

"This is a defendant who is a high risk to young women," she said. "He seems to be addicted to exposing himself in public, preferably when young children are about. This is his way of relieving stress.

"He realises he is a serious risk, but simply cannot control this desire to expose himself."

Sentencing Frost to a three-year community rehabilitation order, with a condition to address his sexual offending, Judge Nicholas Beddard told him: "It is very clear you are a prolific offender in this area, and it is extremely damaging to young children when this happens.

"My main concern is to try and bring an end to this sort of behaviour by sentencing you to a sex offenders treatment program, which is intended for the protection of children in the future."

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